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Clearwire taps into Sprint financing for April

BELLEVUE, Wash. (AP) -- Wireless network operator Clearwire said Thursday that it will tap into $80 million in financing from Sprint Nextel Corp. in April, a move that could make its acquisition by Dish less likely.

Clearwire has received buyout offers from both Sprint and satellite TV provider Dish Network Corp. In December it agreed to a deal with Sprint Nextel Corp. that offered $2.2 billion for the 49 percent of Clearwire that Sprint doesn't already own. Then Dish Network Corp. bid about $5.15 billion for Clearwire in January.

As part of Sprint's deal the wireless carrier agreed to provide Clearwire with up to $800 million in financing in the form of notes that could give Sprint a bigger stake, if they were converted to stock.

Clearwire has said that Dish indicated that it would withdraw its offer if Clearwire used the Sprint financing but so far that has not happened.

Shares of Clearwire rose 1 cent to $3.26 in midday trading. Sprint Nextel added 14 cents to $6.18. Shares of Dish lost 27 cents to $37.75.