Dish Seeks to Halt FCC Review of Sprint-Softbank Deal
Dish Networks today filed a request with the Federal Communications Commission asking it to pause its review of Softbank's proposed equity acquisition of Sprint. Dish wants issues concerning its competitive bid for Clearwire to be resolved first. Last year, Softbank, Japan's second-largest wireless network operator, proposed to purchase a 70% stake in Sprint for about $20 billion. Hoping to simplify terms of the deal, Sprint later proposed to acquire the remainder of Clearwire, in which it already holds a majority stake, for $2.97 per share. Dish Networks threw a wrench into Sprint's plans by making its own bid for Clearwire last week, offering $3.30 per share. According to Dish, "With competing offers for Clearwire in place, premature Commission evaluation of Sprint’s initial offer could undermine the Commission’s policy objective of neutrality in takeover contests by giving SoftBank and Sprint a very real advantage in the corporate valuation process." Dish has been looking for a way to enter the wireless network market for years, and is hoping a deal with Clearwire could make that happen.
Dish Says It Will Bid On 600MHz Spectrum
Dish Networks has told the FCC it intends to "meaningfully participate" in the reverse auction for 600MHz airwaves scheduled for next year. "The incentive auction offers opportunities for competitive providers and new entrants to bid on and win much-needed lowband spectrum, which will facilitate the deployment of mobile broadband services," said Dish Senior Vice President Jeffrey Blum in the filing with the agency.
FCC Commish Calls to Question Dish's Auction Discounts
FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai is objecting to Dish Networks' claim on more than $3 billion in discounts in the recently closed AWS-3 spectrum auction. Dish did not bid directly on any spectrum.
SoftBank Sinks More Money Into Sprint
SoftBank has been snapping up shares of Sprint, increasing its stake recently by as much as $87 million. Despite SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son's misgivings about the overall acquisition of Sprint, SoftBank said it "is enthusiastic about Sprint's prospects.
Dish's Designated Entities Under Attack
More organizations are piling on the designated entities that Dish Networks used to bid in this year's AWS-3 spectrum auction. Rather than bid directly, Dish had three small companies, in which it has an 85% stake, bid on its behalf.
it's so obvious