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Dish Takes the Gloves Off and Slams SoftBank-Sprint Deal

23 May 2013

Dish Network Corp., in its bid to acquire Sprint Nextel Corp., is taking its case public. Japan-based SoftBank Corp. has also made an offer to acquire the U.S.-based mobile carrier.

In a release, Dish stated its proposal will deliver nearly all the key benefits of the SoftBank-Sprint transaction and more, including 40 MHz of additional mid-band spectrum and cable-quality broadband access to approximately 40 million unserved and underserved consumers in rural America -- all built on a foundation of an American company investing cash from an American balance sheet to make another American company more competitive for the benefit of all American consumers.

A Dish/Sprint merger is superior in several important areas, the company argued:

  • Dish’s $25.5 billion offer is better for shareholders, offering more cash and stock in a strategically superior company than the SoftBank proposal provides for Sprint shareholders.
  • The SoftBank investment to control Sprint is a financial transaction, not a commercial merger, given that SoftBank has no U.S. operations to combine with Sprint. On the other hand, Dish/Sprint creates the only company that offers convenient, fully integrated nationwide bundle of in- and out-of-home video, broadband and voice services. The combination also provides substantial synergies and a significantly enhanced strategic position.
  • With the largest spectrum portfolio and as the only telecommunications company to deliver voice, video and data in- and out-of-the home, Dish/Sprint would be better positioned to challenge AT&T and Verizon than SoftBank-Sprint. SoftBank brings no spectrum to the merger. Dish brings 45 MHz of low- and mid-band spectrum with an estimated value of $10 billion, plus robust cash flows.
  • A Dish-Sprint deal will be better for national security by preserving domestic ownership, control and accountability over Sprint’s national wireless network and fiber backbone network, which provides classified services to government, law enforcement and military customers.

SoftBank has offered $20 billion for Sprint; Dish’s bid is for $25.5 billion in cash and stock.

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