In what may sound like a Faustian bargain, one facet of the big wireless-spectrum deal Verizon
Or, as more devilishly put by Comcast cable President Neil Smit, those cable companies could be Verizon Wireless resellers into "perpetuity."
That is a long time, and it could mean that never, as in never again, could Clearwire
Comcast's and Time Warner Cable's calculation here is significant, as together they own 14% of Clearwire. Either they are willing to see that investment go south, or they have faith in the new arrangement that Clearwire and Sprint worked out late last week. Clearwire had threatened to self-immolate by not paying its $237 million interest payment.
Sprint's suicide squeeze play
That new deal was hammered out after Clearwire was talked off the ledge by Sprint, which offered it an extension of the 4G WiMAX network partnership that will go past 2012. As part of the $1.6 billion total package with Clearwire, Sprint announced that it will buy up to $347 million worth of Clearwire's equity in a new offering that will total between $400 million and $700 million.
Yesterday, Clearwire also announced that it is now offering $300 million of new equity, of which Sprint will buy an unrevealed amount. Sprint currently owns a 54% share of Clearwire but has only a 49.6% voting interest.
Changing telecom landscape
New telecom wheelings and dealings have been surfacing almost as quickly as wireless carriers have been introducing new smartphones. But this latest deal between Verizon and the SpectrumCo cable companies has the potential to be the most influential.
Up to now, that crown had been worn by AT&T's
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Fool contributor Dan Radovsky owns shares of AT&T. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools don't all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.