Clearwire Falls After Dish Says It Won’t Block SpringCrayton Harrison and Todd Shields
Clearwire Corp., the wireless Internet company that agreed to be acquired by Sprint Nextel Corp., fell in trading after Dish Network Corp. said it won’t seek regulatory action to block the transaction.
Dish in a letter told the Federal Communications Commission it decided not to file a petition opposing Sprint’s acquisition by Tokyo-based Softbank Corp. Sprint’s Clearwire transaction is being reviewed as part of the $20 billion Softbank bid.
The U.S. Justice Department, in a filing posted today on the FCC’s website, asked the FCC to defer consideration of the Softbank acquisition. The department, including the FBI, and the Department of Homeland Security are reviewing the proposal for national security and law enforcement issues, according to the filing.
Dish, in a letter filed yesterday, said it is in “continued negotiations” to acquire Clearwire.
Investors have pushed up Clearwire’s shares on the expectation that Sprint will increase its offer of $2.97 a share. Dish has offered $3.30 a share, a transaction that would be more complicated because Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, already owns a majority stake in Clearwire.
Dish in a Jan. 16 filing asked the FCC to pause its consideration of the related Softbank deal. In yesterday’s letter, Dish said it wouldn’t ask the FCC to block the purchase.
Sprint’s offer to Clearwire is conditioned on its ability to complete the Softbank deal.
Clearwire dropped 1.2 percent to $3.32 in Nasdaq Stock Market trading at 12:25 p.m. in New York after earlier falling as much as 4.2 percent, the biggest intraday decline since Dec. 17.
Mike DiGioia, a spokesman for Clearwire, declined to comment. Separately, DiGioia said he expected Clearwire would file its proxy related to Sprint’s takeover offer within a week.
Steve Hall, a spokesman for Englewood, Colorado-based Dish, declined to comment.
Dow Jones Newswires earlier reported the Dish filing.