Verizon reportedly offering Clearwire $1.5 billion for spectrum leasesAlex Wagner - Editorial Director of News and Content
Today's shaping up to be a pretty crazy day in wireless. Shortly after Dish's attempt to one-up SoftBank with a $25.5 billion bid for Sprint, a new report from The Wall Street Journal claims that Verizon is interested in leasing spectrum from Clearwire. Details on the matter are still light, but the sources of the report claim that Verizon has offered to pay Clearwire $1.5 billion for spectrum leases.
While neither company has officially come forward on the matter, Clearwire did mention a $1.5 billion offer in a securities filing last week, but it only referred to the entity making the offer as "Party J." The WSJ's tipsters say that this mysterious group is indeed Verizon. Clearwire went on to say in its filing that it plans to review the offer and talk it over with both "Party J" and Sprint, the latter of which owns approximately half of Clearwire and is currently working to acquire the remaining portion.
Verizon's offer to Clearwire is the latest act in a long line of spectrum wheeling and dealing by Big Red. Last year, Verizon gained some AWS spectrum from a group of cable companies and also performed a bit of a spectrum swap with T-Mobile, and more recently, Verizon sold some of its 700MHz spectrum licenses to AT&T and picked up more AWS spectrum from AT&T in return. Now it looks like Verizon wants some help from Clearwire to help satiate its spectrum hunger. While it's not yet clear if Verizon and Clearwire will actually strike a deal, Clearwire would probably like the cash, as it would provide the company with extra funds to go along with the financing that it's gotten from Sprint recently.