Clearwire Board Rebuffs Sprint, Recommends Sale to DISH

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Talk about an up-and-down week for DISH Network.

Just a couple of days after it was revealed that SoftBank of Japan had upped its bid for 70 percent of Sprint nearly closing the door on DISH’s attempt to buy all of America’s third-largest wireless operator comes word that Clearwire’s board of directors will recommend that its shareholders approve DISH’s offer for the spectrum-rich broadband provider.

DISH has been locked in a bidding war for Clearwire with Sprint, which already owns half of the Bellevue, Wash.-based company. After the satellite provider increased its bid last week by more than 30 percent over what Sprint was offering, Clearwire’s board now believes it’s time to sell.

Of course, all of this is complicated by the fact that DISH wants all of Clearwire, half of which is owned by Sprint. And Sprint had been counting on spending a big chunk of the cash from its pending merger with SoftBank in order to acquire Clearwire’s spectrum, which would greatly help it build out its LTE network and offer more high-speed services. DISH has been dying to get into the wireless game by offering its own services, but has been mostly rebuffed until now.

Clearwire said today it has rescheduled its stockholder meeting to June 24. Is yet another counteroffer from Sprint on the horizon?

It’s to the point where you need a scorecard to keep up with all of these moves.

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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