The battle for wireless spectrum in the U.S. is getting more intense — and more confusing.

The latest company to complicate the situation is Verizon, which is looking to lease Clearwire’s spectrum for $1.5 billion, as the Wall Street Journal reports. With the move, Verizon would be given a sizable chunk of airwaves to use as it builds out its LTE network.

Clearwire, of course, is already in the middle of a fiery acquisition battle between Dish and Sprint. In the latest update, Sprint gave Clearwire $80 million in an effort to outbid Dish, which had offered $5.5 billion for Clearwire in January.

As if that wasn’t already complicated enough, Dish is now offering to $25.5 billion to buy Sprint, which could derail Sprint’s previous deal to sell a majority stake of itself to Japanese company Softbank.

So, here’s the recap:

  • Verizon wants to lease spectrum from Clearwire, but both Dish and Sprint want to acquire Clearwire.
  • Caught in the middle of  acquiring and being acquired, Sprint is being courted by both Softbank and Dish, which is doing all it can to buy a wireless network rather than build one.
  • Everyone has gone just about crazy for wireless spectrum.

Photo: Flickr/Eric Hauser