Clearwire Corporation Bid Could Lead To DISH Buyout

The futures of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S), Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) and DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) are all intertwined as we await the final decision on DISH Network’s offer to buy Clearwire.


The Wall Street Journal’s Thomas Gryta interviewed a wireless spectrum consultant who speculates that the outcome of DISH Network’s offer for Clearwire could actually trigger an offer to buy it. Tim Farrar reportedly believes that this offer from DISH could make it likely that DIRECTV (NASDAQ:DTV) or AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) will jump in and make an offer for DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH).

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According to Farrar, if DISH Network does end up buying Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR), then it becomes more difficult for AT&T Inc. (NYSE:T) to buy DISH because of how much wireless spectrum would be involved. DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) CEO Charlie Ergen has indicated recently that the company won’t sell its wireless spectrum, so if AT&T wants that spectrum, it will have to buy DISH in its entirety.

On the other hand, DIRECTV might not want to be involved with DISH Network if it ends up buying Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR). The company’s CEO hinted last week that a merger of the two satellite TV companies might be beneficial, although he also said there were no negotiations for such a merger yet.

Meanwhile the Standard & Poor’s Ratings Services is keeping an eye on the corporate credit ratings of both Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) and Clearwire. S&P decided to keep both of them on “CreditWatch with positive implications.”

S&P put Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) on CreditWatch in October after negotiations for a buyout by Japanese telecom operator SoftBank began. Eventually the deal was sealed with a $20.1 billion purchase of 70 percent of Sprint by SoftBank.

Clearwire has been on CreditWatch since December when Sprint announced that it would buy the 49 percent of Clearwire that it didn’t own.