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Clearwire still reviewing Dish offer

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) -- Wireless network operator Clearwire Corp. said Friday that it continues to review Dish Network's offer to buy the company, but for the time being it's still recommending that its shareholders approve the buyout offer it struck with Sprint late last year.

Clearwire filed a preliminary proxy statement with Securities and Exchange Commission encouraging its shareholders to vote in favor of the deal with Sprint Nextel Corp., which calls for Sprint to acquire the 49 percent stake in Clearwire that it does not already own for $2.97 per share, or about $2.2 billion.

Sprint is third-largest U.S. cellphone company and depends on Clearwire to provide high speed Sprint 4G data services on some of its phones. Some of Clearwire's shareholders have opposed the sale, saying Clearwire could get a better price.

Englewood, Colo.-based Dish has proposed to pay $3.30 per share, or $5.15 billion, for the struggling company.

Clearwire, which is based in Bellevue, Wash., said last month that it would discuss the offer with Dish. But Sprint said at that time that it would have to sign off on Dish's offer and that it did not intend to do so.

In a statement, Sprint said Friday that it's pleased that Clearwire's board continues to recommend approval of its offer, saying that Dish's offer is "illusory and conditioned on many things."

Clearwire shares fell a penny to $3.15 in premarket trading. Sprint rose a penny to $5.64 per share. Dish Network shares also rose a penny to $37.27 an hour ahead of the market open.