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June 12, 2013

Clearwire board rejects Sprint offer in favor of Dish bid

The decision puts pressure on Overland Park-based Sprint Nextel Corp., which owns just over half of Clearwire Corp., to regain the favor of the wireless Internet company’s board. Sprintsaid it is evaluating next step.

Clearwire Corp.’s board recommended that shareholders accept an offer of $4.40 a share from Dish Network Corp., shunning a lower bid from majority owner Sprint Nextel Corp.

The board postponed a meeting scheduled for Thursday for shareholders to vote on Sprint’s $3.40-a-share bid until June 24, Clearwire said Wednesday in a statement. Shareholders should vote against Sprint’s offer, it said. Dish extended its tender offer until midnight July 2, instead of June 28, Dish said today in a statement.

The decision puts pressure on Overland Park-based Sprint, which owns just over half of Clearwire, to regain the favor of the wireless Internet company’s board. Otherwise, it may have to contend with a new co-owner in Dish, which has said it would accept a deal for anything above 25 percent of Clearwire’s stock.

Sprint said in a statement that it is evaluating the decision from Clearwire’s board “and will review any corresponding filings before determining its next steps. Sprint continues to have every intention of enforcing its governance rights. All commercial agreements, including network and customer agreements, will be honored and enforced as it regards our ongoing relationship with Clearwire.”

In a separate filing, Dish said investors representing 245,411 shares had already accepted its proposal, still a small portion of the 699.2 million class A shares outstanding.

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