Mobile

Clearwire takes $80M from Sprint even as it’s flirting with Dish for a buyout

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Clearwire’s fate is beginning to resemble a daytime soap opera.

The troubled company has grabbed $80 million in financing from Sprint —  its longtime partner and majority stakeholder — potentially killing Dish’s buyout offer, reports Reuters.

Sprint offered to buy out Clearwire for $2.2 billion back in December, but Dish shot back with its own $5.5 billion offer earlier this year. Clearwire shareholders weren’t pleased with Sprint’s low offer, and it seemed like they were leaning toward accepting Dish’s — until today.

As part of its deal, Sprint offered Clearwire $800 million to stay afloat until everything was finalized. But Clearwire said it wouldn’t use any of Sprint’s financing as long as it was still considering Dish’s offer. By accepting Sprint’s $80 million, it seems like Clearwire has made up its mind to forgo Dish’s higher offer. Clearwire isn’t commenting on the status of its negotiations yet.

Why the battle for a failed wireless provider? As with most issues in the wireless world, it’s all about spectrum. Sprint desperately needs more spectrum to build out its LTE network in the U.S., and Dish is also gearing up to provide its own LTE service according to a recent regulatory filing.