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.