Ina Fried

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Clearwire Amends Deal With Sprint, Gets $1 Billion in Further Guaranteed Cash

Sprint and Clearwire announced an amended deal on Tuesday that guarantees that Clearwire will get $1 billion in cash over the next two years and gives Sprint new rights and flexibility.

Under the new pact, Sprint commits to a minimum $300 million usage this year, $550 million next year and will pre-pay $175 million for 4G wholesale services to be used in the coming years. The two parties had said they were working on a new pact to resolve a dispute over wholesale pricing.

“Sprint has been our biggest and most important customer and partner since we launched 4G services in the U.S. more than two years ago,” Clearwire interim CEO John Stanton said in a statement. “Today’s agreement further aligns Sprint and Clearwire’s interests and lays the foundation for a continued, constructive relationship. We are pleased to have the resources and partnerships necessary to maintain our 4G leadership and leverage our significant spectrum and capacity for delivering mobile broadband services.”

Stanton took over as interim CEO last month amid a management shakeup. The company also cut jobs late last year and auditors have raised concerns about Clearwire’s future prospects.

Sprint, which owns a big chunk of Clearwire, also praised the new deal.

“We are pleased to reach this wholesale pricing agreement with Clearwire,” Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said in a statement. “We look forward to working with them under this new agreement to provide an expanded offering of 4G capabilities and solutions for Sprint customers.”

The deal also revises how Sprint is charged for devices that run on both its own 3G network and on Clearwire’s 4G network, ensuring that there is a minimum revenue for Clearwire per device and giving Sprint various volume and usage discounts.


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The problem with the Billionaire Savior phase of the newspaper collapse has always been that billionaires don’t tend to like the kind of authority-questioning journalism that upsets the status quo.

— Ryan Chittum, writing in the Columbia Journalism Review about the promise of Pierre Omidyar’s new media venture with Glenn Greenwald