The whole Dish-Clearwire-Sprint-SoftBank situation got a tad more complicated today, as Dish has asked that the Federal Communications Commission pause its review of SoftBank's acquisition of Sprint. Sprint last month made a bid to acquire the remaining shares of Clearwire that it didn't already own, but then Dish made its own, higher bid for Clearwire. Dish argues that its bid "increases the uncertainty" over Sprint's odds of success and that since Sprint's acquisition of Clearwire is contingent on the SoftBank-Sprint deal getting approved, Sprint could be given an unfair advantage in the battle for Clearwire if its merger with SoftBank is approved beforehand.
Dish recently gained FCC approval to use some spectrum that it owns to build a wireless network, but so far the company hasn't said much about its plans. While getting even a piece of Clearwire could certainly help Dish in its cause, Dish still must hope that the FCC grants its request for a pause in the Sprint-SoftBank review, and even then it'll have to deal with Sprint, who is currently a majority shareholder in Clearwire. All of this adds up to make for a situation that's still got a ways to go before it's all ironed out, and with Dish doing things like making a bid for Clearwire and asking the FCC to halt its review, you may want to grab a bag of popcorn to snack on while this whole thing plays out.