Dish has dropped its pursuit of Sprint after Softbank sweetened its bid for the No. 3 wireless carrier in the U.S. However, Dish added that it will continue to pursue Clearwire as it aims to grab wireless spectrum.
In a statement, Dish said:
While DISH continues to see strategic value in a merger with Sprint, the decisions made by Sprint to prematurely terminate our due diligence process and accept extreme deal protections in its revised agreement with SoftBank, among other things, have made it impracticable for DISH to submit a revised offer by the June 18th deadline imposed by Sprint. We will consider our options with respect to Sprint, and focus our efforts and resources on completing the Clearwire tender offer.
Last week, a Clearwire committee said it preferred a Dish proposal to take the company over. Softbank sweetened its bid for Sprint to $21.6 billion.
Given the stand off, it's unclear whether Softbank and/or Dish can achieve their synergy projections without Clearwire, which counts Sprint as its largest shareholder. Dish was projecting a unicast vision that revolved around a hybrid network. Needless to say Clearwire played a big role in the LTE mobile network plans for Dish.
Softbank also was hoping Clearwire's LTE network would bolster its master plan for Sprint.
Should Dish get Clearwire and Softbank officially lands Sprint both sides may wind up with a semi-hollow victory just based on wireless spectrum.