DISH abandons pursuit of Sprint Nextel to focus on Clearwire deal

20 Jun 2013

US satellite TV giant DISH Network has confirmed that it will not make a new offer for Sprint Nextel to counter Softbank’s improved USD21.6 billion proposal to control 78% of the sought-after US mobile operator. The move paves the way for Softbank to complete its long-running acquisition of Sprint, which was first tabled in October 2012. Last week Sprint accepted Softbank’s new proposal and said that it had ended talks with DISH. Sprint had given its erstwhile suitor until this Tuesday to present its ‘best and final’ offer, but the satellite firm called the deadline ‘impracticable’. A DISH spokesperson confirmed: ‘We will consider our options with respect to Sprint, and focus our efforts and resources on completing the Clearwire tender offer’.

As previously reported by TeleGeography’s CommsUpdate, last week Clearwire’s board endorsed DISH’s bid to acquire a stake in the company – effectively giving its current majority stake holder Sprint the cold shoulder. A special committee set up by Clearwire’s board to contemplate the competing offers, voted in favour of the satellite TV firm’s bid, and postponed the shareholder vote on the matter from 13 June to 24 June as a result.

United States, Clearwire, DISH Network, Sprint Corporation (now part of T-Mobile US)