Dish Network Buying Sprint: Did Clearwire Drive The Offer?

Reports indicate that the Dish Network's current cash flow could lead to a big-time transaction in the near future. Dish has reportedly made a $25.5 billion offer to buy almost 70 percent of Sprint Nextel. The proposed offer would be comprised of more than $17 billion in cash and over $8 billion in stock. In a conference call Monday, representatives for Dish described the possible merger as the first true blend of cable and wireless opportunities.

Sprint currently holds all the cards in this transaction, as it had previously received an offer from Softbank Corp, a Japanese telecommunications company. In October 2012, Softbank reportedly made an offer to purchase the same amount of control in Sprint for $20.1 billion.

According to Reuters, following the announcement of the proposed merger, Sprint stock rose almost 18 percent. That figure would represent the company's highest individual increase in almost five years.

In recent years Dish had been leading up to such an acquisition by purchasing billions of dollars in available spectrum. As recently as Friday, Forbes speculated whether this spectrum allotment could be a part of a larger plan.

In January, Dish made an attempt to purchase $5.5 billion in available spectrum from the Clearwire Corporation. This offer followed Sprint's attempt at purchasing Clearwire. If the Sprint/Dish merger were to become a reality, Clearwire's spectrum would almost certainly be a component of the deal.

According to several reports, Sprint will give Softbank Corp time to increase its previous offer. As the battle for Spectrum continues, Verizon Wireless is also reportedly ready to make its own offer for Clearwire's Spectrum.

Regardless of which combination of companies does in fact join forces, it is clear that the giants of telecommunications plan to be prepared for whatever the next wave of tech will bring. 

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