Sprint today announced that it will purchase Clearwire outright for $2.97 per share, or roughly $2.2 billion. Although the deal still has to pass through regulatory approval, Sprint calls the agreement "definitive" and has outlined its plans for the carrier: as expected, it will use Clearwire's 2.5 GHz spectrum to augment its 4G LTE network. Clearwire CEO and President Erik Prusch said that the move was "the best path forward" for his company. In a written statement accompanying the announcement, Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said:
"Today’s transaction marks yet another significant step in Sprint’s improved competitive position and ability to offer customers better products, more choices and better services. Sprint is uniquely positioned to maximize the value of Clearwire’s spectrum and efficiently deploy it to increase Sprint’s network capacity. We believe this transaction, particularly when leveraged with our SoftBank relationship, is further validation of our strategy and allows Sprint to control its network destiny."
The $2.2 billion purchase is around $100 million larger than Sprint's initial offer for the shares. Today's takeover comes just two months after the carrier acquired a controlling stake in Clearwire. At the time, Sprint's owner SoftBank reportedly declared that it wanted full control over Clearwire's "vast reserves of spectrum." Despite already owning around 50 percent of Clearwire's shares, Sprint still needed the approval of the majority of the remaining shareholders for the acquisition to be approved.