"Dish Network Corp. made an unsolicited bid to buy wireless broadband operator Clearwire Corp. for $5.15 billion, besting Sprint Nextel Corp.’s buyout offer and setting up a potential takeover battle," reports the Denver Post.
Says the Bloomberg version of the story, the bid "has analysts wondering about Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen’s motivations."
The Bloomberg story adds, "Dish, a satellite-television company that’s expanding into the mobile-phone business, already has airwave licenses that it could use to offer wireless downloads and voice calls. Ergen’s company has been looking to bring those services to consumers by seeking partners with network equipment and tools, assets that Clearwire doesn’t have and Sprint does.
" ‘It’s hard for me to imagine that what Dish wants is Clearwire,’ said Craig Moffett, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. in New York. ‘It could be a chess move to get a partnership with Sprint.’ Dish may offer to rescind its Clearwire bid if Sprint agrees to a partnership, Moffett said. It’s also possible that Dish is seeking any way it can to control a wireless company, and Clearwire is the only option, he said."