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Verizon offers Clearwire $1.5 billion for spectrum leases, says WSJ

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Verizon Wireless store (STOCK)
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Verizon is looking to buy Clearwire spectrum leases for $1.5 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports. Clearwire has disclosed an offer for spectrum in major US markets from "Party J," which anonymous sources tell the Journal is Verizon. According to the filing text, the offer is for between $1 billion and $1.5 billion dollars, from which the present price of the spectrum leases would be deducted. Clearwire says it is still evaluating the decision, and a spokesperson has declined to comment to us.

The news comes just as Dish makes an attempt to take over Sprint, adding yet another party to an already complicated deal. In December, Sprint announced that it would be buying out Clearwire for about $2.2 billion, soon after Japanese carrier Softbank proposed a merger with Sprint. A few months later, though, Dish made a surprise bid for Clearwire, then followed it up by trying to buy Sprint itself for $25.5 billion.

Unlike Dish's offers, Verizon's bid wouldn't derail any of the many deals on the table, but whether the bid is accepted could affect how much money or spectrum is available to Clearwire or whoever ends up buying it. For Verizon, the proposed sale is part of an ongoing push to expand its network. It's in the middle of a large-scale LTE rollout and upgrade project, and it spent much of last year buying spectrum from cable companies in a controversial partnership.