At long last, it seems that this particular saga is drawing to an end. Clearwire
, once a hot company in the age of WiMAX
, fell off of the map fairly quickly after it became crystal clear that LTE was the future of 4G. But recently, it has become a hot commodity. Both Sprint and Dish have been flinging dirt over who was going to take it over, and after Dish finally
got fed up and walked away, Sprint moved in for the kill. And now, Sprint has its most promising sign yet: a stamp of approval from the FCC.
The Federal Communications Commission announced this week that it has voted unanimously to approve the applications filed by SoftBank, Sprint and Clearwire related to their transactions announced last year. This decision completes all Federal government reviews of both SoftBank’s investment in Sprint and Sprint’s acquisition of Clearwire. Sprint’s shareholders approved the SoftBank transaction with Sprint on June 25th. Clearwire’s shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Sprint transaction with Clearwire, which has been recommended by Clearwire’s Board of Directors, on July 8th.
"We would like to thank Acting Chairwoman Clyburn, Commissioners Rosenworcel and Pai, as well as the staff of the FCC for their thorough review of these transactions,” said Sprint CEO Dan Hesse. “Just two years ago, the wireless industry was at the doorstep of duopoly, but with these transformative transactions, we are one step closer to a stronger Sprint which will better serve consumers, challenge the market share leaders and drive innovation in the American economy.”
Sprint, Clearwire and SoftBank anticipate that the transactions will close in early July 2013, subject to the remaining closing conditions. What's Sprint to do with Clearwire once it officially takes control? Hard to say, but it'll sure be happy that Dish doesn't have access to that spectrum.