May 30 - Dish tries to scoop rival Sprint with a bid valuing Clearwire at $6.5 billion. Conway G. Gittens reports.
The Daily Digit is $6.5 billion; that's how much wireless operator Clearwire is worth to satellite TV provider Dish Network. Dish and Sprint Nextel have been one-upping one another in a race to get their hands on Clearwire. In the latest development - Dish upped its offer to $4.40 per share, compared to Sprint's sweetened $3.40. Dish is going after Clearwire because it could help the company jump onto the mobile bandwagon, which actually has growth prospects, unlike the satellite TV business. But Sprint already owns more than a half of Clearwire, and is trying to close-out on the rest of it. As a matter of fact, Clearwire shareholders were getting ready to vote on Sprint's bid this Friday, but that may be postponed, according to two sources. The battle over Clearwire is just a part of a massive offensive on Dish's part, it's really going after a bigger fish... Sprint. With Sprint and Clearwire, Dish Network would be the nation's third-leading mobile service and data provider. The only thing is, Sprint already agreed to be bought by Japan's Softbank, which is not backing down.