Carl Icahn smells blood in LightSquared's spectrum, descends to feed on its carrion

Oh, the twisted web that continues to weave itself around LightSquared. After incurring a seemingly endless parade of regulatory and industry obstacles, the Philip Falcone-backed network is now facing yet another potential hurdle. Except this time, it's taken the shape of investor Carl Icahn: a business magnate notorious for swooping in on downtrodden companies (see: Time Warner) and seizing control. And it appears the old man's pulled out his tried-and-true bag of tricks, securing a sizeable chunk of the fledgling 4G operation's debt following a value drop last year. What does this spell for Falcone? Well, the move could wind up positioning Icahn as a controlling force, steering the LTE operation away from its hedge fund founder's vision and into more profitable waters -- a welcome turn of events for the cash-strapped company. With FCC approval still pending, Sprint quietly retreating from its partnership deal and a looming fight for executive control, it's safe to say LightSquared's troubles have only just begun.

[Image credit: Sarah A. Friedman]