DISH Network said on Wednesday it has withdrawn its offer to buy Clearwire.
The move signaled DISH's defeat in a drama-laden saga between DISH and Japan's SoftBank for control of Sprint Nextel. SoftBank initially laid out $20.1 billion for Sprint, only to be one-upped by DISH's $25 bid. At the same time, DISH also tried to crush Sprint's attempt to buy 4G provider Clearwire. But Sprint last week trumped DISH's $4.40-per-share offer with a counter offer of $5 per-share, which a Clearwire committee preferred.
Much of the spectacle ended yesterday when Sprint shareholders voted in favor of the SoftBank acquisition; SoftBank will own 78 percent of Sprint when the deal closes – that's expected to happen early next month.
Meanwhile, it's unclear how satellite operator DISH will dust itself off from its failed attempts to add a wireless component to its business model. CEO Charlie Ergen has made no secret of his contention that wireless is the key to DISH's growth.