It looks like at least one facet of the drama between Sprint, Clearwire, and Dish will soon be coming to a close: Sprint has just submitted another increased bid to purchase the remaining shares of Clearwire that it doesn't already own. Sprint has been trying to acquire Clearwire since last December, but Dish swooped in and started a bidding war with its own offer in January. More recently, Sprint upped its bid and called it its "best and final offer," but Dish quickly responded with an improved offer of its own and appears to have forced Sprint's hand. Now, Sprint will offer $5 per share to acquire Clearwire — up significantly from the "best and final" $3.40 per share it offered less than a month ago.
While a formal shareholder vote is still required to complete this transaction, it sounds like things are close to a done deal — Sprint says that about 45 percent of the Clearwire shareholders that aren't affiliated with Sprint have agreed to vote in favor of the wireless carrier's deal, which would effectively end Dish's hopes of a takeover. Of course, Dish could come back with another offer — but it's starting to look like the company may lose out in its efforts to get a piece of both Sprint and Clearwire, something that will definitely hurt Dish's ambitions to move into the wireless space.