Dish's Clearwire bid is just the start of negotiations

Dish Network's unsolicited offer to acquire Clearwire comes with lots potential hurdles, and the $2.2 billion proposal does not represent "a clear articulation of Dish' wireless strategy," according to Standard & Poor's Ratings Services. The most likely obstacle is opposition to the proposed deal from Sprint Nextel, which owns more than 50 percent of Clearwire and in December offered $2.97 per share to take over the wireless broadband operator. Dish's offer involves purchasing certain spectrum assets from Clearwire for $2.2 billion, entering into a commercial agreement with Clearwire, acquiring up to all of Clearwire's common stock for $3.30 per share and providing Clearwire with network build-out financing. Standard & Poor's predicts Dish will be involved in a "potentially long process that could involve further negotiations with Clearwire and possible partnerships with other operators." The ratings agency did not change its outlook on Dish due to the offer it made to Clearwire. If the unsolicited Clearwire bid results only in the sale of spectrum to Dish, Standard & Poor's said Dish could likely use cash on hand to cement the deal. For more, see this release.