Dish Network formally withdrew its $4.40 per share tender offer for Clearwire, abandoning its pursuit of the wireless company and clearing the way for majority owner Sprint Nextel to take control of Clearwire.
Dish Network has requested that the FCC waive its network buildout requirements on the 700 MHz E Block spectrum that Dish acquired during the FCC's 2008 auction. Dish said that a number of factors, including a lack of suitable equipment and ongoing uncertainty over interference, have prevented the company from building out a network in the spectrum.
Sprint Nextel shareholders overwhelmingly approved Japanese operator SoftBank's offer to acquire 78 percent of Sprint in a $21.6 billion deal, handing SoftBank and its CEO Masayoshi Son a major victory in SoftBank's quest to outbid Charlie Ergen's Dish Network.
Dish Network, having abandoned its attempt to acquire Sprint Nextel and having been outbid for Clearwire, faces a quandary: What does it do now in wireless?
Dish Network has formally given up all attempts to buy Sprint Nextel, according to a regulatory filing, clearing the way for Japan's SoftBank to take control of Sprint and try to turn it into a more powerful force in the U.S. wireless market.
The whirlwind battle for Clearwire continues to swirl, as Clearwire's board of directors reversed itself yet again and now recommends Sprint's offer to buy the roughly 50 percent of Clearwire it doesn't already own for $5 per share. The move comes eight days after Clearwire's board recommended Dish Network's $4.40 per share tender offer for the company over Sprint's earlier $3.40 per share offer.
Now that Dish Network has said it will not make a new offer for Sprint Nextel, clearing the way for SoftBank to get control of Sprint, the most intriguing M&A question is: What will happen to Clearwire, which Dish and Sprint are both pursuing?
Dish Network said it will not make a new offer for Sprint Nextel to counter SoftBank's revised $21.6 billion proposal to control 78 percent of Sprint. The move paves the way for SoftBank to complete its proposed purchase of Sprint.
Sprint Nextel sued both Dish Network and partner Clearwire to block Dish's proposed $4.40 per share takeover bid of Clearwire. Clearwire said last week that its board recommended that shareholders approve Dish's offer over Sprint's $3.40 per bid to take control of Clearwire, but Sprint has argued Dish's offer is "not actionable."
Sprint Nextel made changes to its customer terms of service last month in preparation for the possibility that it could stop using Clearwire's WiMAX network before some customers' terms of service are up. The carrier said it wants to provide WiMAX smartphone customers with more options to get them to switch over to its LTE network, which Sprint has been steadily building out since last July.