DISH Gives Up on Clearwire

DISH Network said on Wednesday it has withdrawn its offer to buy Clearwire.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.

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