If you're thinking this whole Sprint-SoftBank-Clearwire-DISH fiasco is getting a bit confusing, you're not alone: Sprint's fed up with the whole ordeal, and is now suing DISH and Clear for trying to run off together in a lurid affair of megahertz and majority ownership.

Why, exactly? Well, SoftBank, basically. One requirement of the Japanese firm's deal to buy out Sprint is that the Now Network take a controlling interest in Clearwire, whose juicy 2500MHz spectrum lease is the apple of SoftBank's eye. With Clear and Sprint's combined holdings, SoftBank would become the single largest holder of cellular spectrum in the US. It's a bold, daring plan, evil-genius-worthy plan, and one that DISH has rather shamelessly tried to copy.

DISH has bid on Sprint in the past, but Dan Hesse and co. were long ago wooed by Masayoshi Son and his big piles of capital. Fortunately for Sprint, when it acquired majority stake in Clear, it put down some ground rules for the relationship. Most importantly, perhaps, that any major changes in Clear's ownership would require 75% board approval. Sprint is 50% of the board. Those numbers are obviously not going to crunch in DISH's favor. There are a litany of other legal lashings Sprint has planned for the two not-so-secret lovers, and it sounds like they've got their ducks in a row on this one. And by ducks, I mean solid, contract-based legal complaints in the state of Delaware.

For more, read the press release at the link below.


David Ruddock
David's phone is whatever is currently sitting on his desk. He is an avid writer, and enjoys playing devil's advocate in editorials, and reviewing the latest phones and gadgets. He also doesn't usually write such boring sentences.

  • Willie D

    Who cares? Sprint nor Clearwire nor Softbank have made any compelling changes to the company or prepped any of them to be competitve anyway. At this point Dish could just make a hostile takeover of Sprint on the stock market and call it a day which would give them controlling interest in Clearwire as well abd cost by far less than they want to spend. Deal done!

    • http://www.androidpolice.com/ David Ruddock

      I highly doubt DISH would be able to mount a successful open market takeover.

      • Kevets

        "VOOM." Anyone who thinks Dish knows what it takes to revolutionize an industry should remember that.

    • Christopher Lee

      So said every armchair analyst cum general cum world leader.

    • http://twitter.com/7Syon Eclectech

      Not going to happen. Dish is basically borrowing money just to attempt to buy Clear.

    • yankeesusa

      Why would they make any changes now? The changes would come after a merger. Only thing that has happened so far is I think softbank has provided sprint with some money to continue the lte rollout. No company in their right mind would make drastic changes until things are finalized.


    If Sprint prevails Dish from taking any ownership position in Clearwire, Sprint would be able to accept defeat in the merger proposal, get the promised shares and wait until November to change the bylaws of the company in their favor, showing Crest the middle finger.

  • GiantJay

    Dish needs to go away and let this all come to fruition for Sprint.

    • Cherokee4Life

      Show them who is boss Sprint! Now we Sprint customers will wait until our LTE network if fully deployed when Verizon is almost done with their LTE-Advance deployment! I kid of course...

      • yankeesusa

        I can see where your coming from. But ever since yesterday after the latest lte sites were turned on with more promised in the coming months sprint has a big chance to be one of the top dogs again. Even where lte is not officially released sensorly is showing sprint lte lighting up all over the place. Florida for example was showing lte all over before the official announcement. All i can say is I have tasted sprint lte and it is good. Cant wait for more widespread rollout and more boost to the current lte thats currently active. I just hit 28mpbs in orlando 2 days ago and in my town I hit 22mbps although the average is around 6mbps in the congested areas.

        • Cherokee4Life

          don't get me wrong. I live in Chicago subburbs and have had LTE for a long time now and its freakin fast. But I was just saying that Sprint isn't as wide spread of the other 2 top dogs.

  • David Margolin

    trying to understand all this...
    clearwire is what every1 wants...
    sprint owns 50.50% of clearwire...
    dish is trying to buy the other 49.50%...
    softbank wants to buy sprint...

    so the best option for us as consumers is if softbank buys sprint... correct?

    • Cherokee4Life

      ClearWire is broke and sits on a gold mine they cant afford to "mine". Sprint owns 50% of that Goldmine (not enough to mine it just control if it goes somewhere). Softbank is greedy and wants the goldmine. Softbank teams up with the lesser of 2 evils who also want the Goldmine and work together to get at the goldmine.

      That's how I look at it anyway

      • David Margolin

        what do you mean by "not enough to mine it"??? don't they use some of clearwire's spectrum for wimax

        • Cherokee4Life

          I mean they don't have the pull the top carriers have to have a widespread network of sorts. I just can't see a TV commercial for Clearwire introducing a new LTE network that is "The fastest LTE network" that Sprint/Verizon/AT&T all claim. The big 3 (+Dish supposedly) could use the spectrum more efficiently is the way i see it.

          On a side note, this is an expanded explanation of why it probably won't go through
          "First in the way are the EHA and Charter of Clearwire, which stipulate that in order for Dish to acquire such a stake in Clearwire it would require approval by 75-percent of Clearwire's shareholders as well as approval from Comcast, neither of which have the companies obtained"

          • David Margolin

            also, as mentioned in the article... for dish to buy clear... they must get a 75 percent vote and sprint is 50 percent of that... is there any way at all that dish can get a high vote percentage like that in these circumstances???

          • Kevets

            Not without a big payoff. Sprint stands to gain the world by blocking the Dish deal.

          • David Margolin

            oh right... money... lmao... forgot about that... thanks alot.. i think i get the complexity of things...

          • Cherokee4Life

            Put all the legality to the side and the fact that I think Sprint forsaw this and put the legislation into play with ClearWire when the obtained their 50.5% stake in them... Sprint and Softbank have more money than Dish.

            Dish is just trying to be a nuance to Sprint because they don't want Softbank to control soooo much spectrum. If this goes through Softbank will control all of Spints and ClearWire's spectrum.

          • Kevets

            Sprint has their stuff covered this time. They bought a majority 50.5% and wrote in the 75% board approval line. Even if you ignore the fact that publicly Sprint and for the most part Clearwire want the deal to go as-is, Clearwire doesn't really have much say in things at this point.

            The only person really stirring things up is the Clearwire CEO who stands to probably get a percentage of whatever happens, so he keeps the bidding going.

          • David Margolin

            oh and i've heard that dish also wants tmo... how does that affect the situation... does tmobile want this to happen or do they hate dish too?

          • Herb69

            Sprint owned a lot and acquired a lot of that 2.5GHz spectrum from Nextel before rushing to partner up with Clearwire a few years ago to meet certain FCC requirements to put a lot of that 2.5GHz spectrum to use as a condition to merge with Nexel a year or two before partnering with Clearwire (similar to what Dish will now be under greater pressure to accomplish within 4 to 7 years without a inkling of a network or their best choice to shack up with in Sprint now that they pissed off not just Softbank but also Sprint (who will soon control Clearwire with or without the merger after the stand still agreement expires between Sprint and Clearwire in a few months)). That is the reason for the governance rights by the strategic investors (mainly Sprint). Supposedly Clearwire has wasted a lot of time and money until recently trying to configure and market their WiMax network as a over reaching stand alone service provider when it should of just concentrated on the highly populated metro areas and plopped down a few towers here and there to please the FCC while catering to other service providers such as Sprint as offload or people on the go. If they had, things might of been different for Sprint and Clearwire right now. Sprint and/or Clearwire might of not been needing a bailout, both of which I believe gave first dibs to Dish. I think at the time Clearwire approached Dish, Dish was too busy trying to get full power and bandwidth rights from the FCC before they finally relented to Sprint's future aspirations for adjacent spectrum when put up for auction.

          • David Margolin

            what is this stand still agreement you speak of...

          • Herb69

            As far as Clearwire and Sprint both are hoovering around or above their current acquisition and buyout agreements. Each already been bid up once or so by the entities who seemed to of been in control to give shareholders a benefit of the doubt that Dish is serious when most analysts think Charlie just wants leverage for a network hosting agreement. Stand still agreement will expire thus allowing Sprint do more with a simple majority instead of a super majority as it stands now.

        • Kevets

          When he says Clearwire is broke, I don't think that even touches the severity of it. They're so far out of money I'd be surprised if headquarters has lights on at the moment.

          That mine is the spectrum that they control but are unable to do anything with due to lack of funding.

          • Cherokee4Life

            what Kevets said

  • yankeesusa

    Its about time sprint steps it up. they have been doing good with the lte rollout and then stalled and then yesterday announced 22 more lte sites plus more in the coming months. With the softbank merger and the clearwire spectrum it may turn out to be a good year for sprint and they won't be losing too many customers come next year after their lte is almost fully rolled out.

  • Matthew Fry

    In other words, they want Softbank to win and Softbank doesn't want to outbid Dish.