After more than nine months of high-stakes dealmaking, Sprint Nextel (NYSE:S) and Clearwire (NASDAQ: CLWR) have finally found their permanent homes. I think they're turning Japanese.
DISH Network (NASDAQ:DISH) dropped its $25.5 billion bid for Sprint and then abandoned the $6.3 billion offer to buy Clearwire. That leaves Japan-based wireless operator Softbank unopposed in its quest to own Sprint, which in turn lost its only challenger for Clearwire ownership. Sprint shareholders have already approved the Softbank merger. It's only a matter of time and formalities before the Sprint-Clearwire bundle lands in Japanese hands.
Shareholders in Sprint and Clearwire may or may not be sad to see DISH leave the negotiating table, but they certainly should appreciate the bidding war that just ended. Sprint shares have more than doubled over the past year, while Clearwire quadrupled.
Where does that leave DISH? Scouring the wireless market for leftovers, of course. In the following video, Fool contributor Anders Bylund dismisses the idea that DISH might give up on ground-based wireless networking at this point, and suggests two options to move Chairman Charlie Ergen closer to his wireless broadcasting ambitions.