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According to the Financial Times
, Japanese carrier SoftBank has upped their offer for Sprint to $21.6 billion, after being pressured in that direction by a counter-offer from Dish Network. That $1.5 billion increase appears to have all but sealed the deal for SoftBank, Sprint having now cut off talks with Dish while stating that the special committee examining the offers "is not reasonably likely to lead to a 'superior offer." SoftBank this week appears to have leaked information to the press
suggesting they'd acquire T-Mobile if the Sprint deal went through, adding some additional pressure to accept the offer that came through shortly after the leaks went public.
claims that SoftBank is in talks with Deutsche Telekom to acquire T-Mobile if their bid for Sprint falls through. The news outlet claims that three different sources have confirmed the talks, which intensified after Dish made a $25.5 billion counterbid to acquire Sprint. Some analysts believe the sudden leaks to the press are more political than serious. "It seems to me that this is more SoftBank posturing to perhaps pressure Sprint's special committee to not delay the vote next week to continue its negotiations with Ergen," said BTIG analyst Walter Piecyk.
Sprint has responded to Dish's recent improved offer to acquire Clearwire
-- by claiming that the proposed acquisition is illegal. In a letter sent to Clearwire board members, Sprint claimed that Dish's offer violates Delaware state law, where Clearwire is incorporated. "In its letter, Sprint noted that several rights demanded by DISH, including a contractual agreement to designate at least three Clearwire Board members and the right to veto certain Clearwire actions are violations of the EHA or Delaware law," Sprint said in a press release
. "Likewise, the DISH proposal calls for Sprint to effectively give up certain of its rights and ignores the requirement that Sprint and other EHA holders must consent to the rights DISH has required as a condition to its tender offer."
by Revcb Friday 31-May-2013
Last week Sprint responded to investor criticism
by raising their offer to acquire the 50% remainder of Clearwire they don't own, offering $3.40 per share in a deal that values Clearwire at around $10.7 billion. Not to be outdone, Dish has announced they're upping their offer as well
. Dish now says they're offering $4.40 per share in cash, a 29% increase over Sprint's offer. The latest offer provides "substantially greater value to Clearwire and your minority stockholders and a clearer path to value realization for all parties," Dish said in a letter to Clearwire.
Back in January the Department of Justice urged the FCC to delay their approval of Softbank's acquisition of Sprint so that the government could conduct a routine review to determine whether the foreign acquisition deal would be a threat to national security
. Sprint today announced
that the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has completed their review of the deal, and found "no unresolved national security issues relating to the transaction." Sprint states that the still believe that the transaction will see regulator approval and completion by the middle of this year, despite Dish efforts to acquire Sprint themselves.
While there has been some twitching from the corpse of LightSquared in DC, it has been fairly clear to everyone that the company has been dead for quite some time
. Now insiders tell Bloomberg
that Charlie Ergen made a $2 billion "stalking horse" bid to acquire LightSquared's assets and spectrum. One problem with such a deal -- the FCC still hasn't given their approval for use of the interference-prone spectrum, the core reason that LightSquared died in the first place. LightSquared has until May 31 to accept the bid. Dish has slowly been engaged in a series of spectrum acquisition deals to aid the company's potential launch of their own LTE network.
Sprint's launch of HD voice had to be delayed slightly to work out some "kinks," though the company now says HD voice should make an appearance sometime in the next two months. "We had a few things that came out of our FIT [field integration testing] testing in Q4 that we needed to resolve to ensure a really good customer experience," a Sprint spokeswoman tells Light Reading
. "Those have been resolved and now were planning the roll-out." When it does launch, it won't work if users call friends on other carriers -- or even other users different network gear made by various Sprint OEMs Alcatel-Lucent, Ericsson and Samsung. Sprint says it will take "several months to achieve interoperability" after launch, meaning the actual
Sprint launch of HD voice is much later this year.
Sprint is promising that neither their bid for Clearwire, or the increasingly absurd sale drama between SoftBank and Dish will impact Sprint's Network Vision upgrade schedule. "Irrespective of the two deals, we are running our business as if none of the deals are going to close and we have to remain a sustainable, standalone entity," insists Sprint CFO Joe Eueteneuer
. The company's iDen remains on schedule for its shut down on June 30, and the company says it remains on schedule to deploy LTE on the 800 MHz spectrum the iDen network will have previously inhabited. Meanwhile, Sprint continues to insist that they believe the SoftBank deal will close by July 1.
Things at Sprint aren't great, but they're still not quite as bad as they used to be. Sprint's first quarter earnings
indicate that the company continues to do battle with its ill-advised acquisition of Nextel.
Despite Charlie Ergen's $25.5 billion bid to acquire Sprint
, SoftBank still claims they hope to have their acquisition of the deal done by July.
"SoftBank believes that the agreed terms of our transaction with Sprint offer Sprint shareholders superior short and long term benefits to Dishs highly conditional preliminary proposal," SoftBank said in a statement sent to the press. "The SoftBank-Sprint transaction is in the advanced stages of receiving the necessary approvals, and we expect to consummate the transaction on July 1, 2013."
Most people believe the deal will still go through, it's just ultimately going to have a higher price tag for SoftBank -- who likely has too much invested at this point to walk away.
A new report
from research firm OpenSignal found that T-Mobile LTE is currently live in nine United States cities ahead of the company's official network launch expected tomorrow. Only Kansas City and Las Vegas were specifically mentioned as launch markets, though the firm notes they've also seen significant LTE presence in Seattle, Denver, New Orleans, New York, San Diego, and the Bay Area.
The FCC this week stated that Softbank's $20 billion acquisition of Sprint is on track for a late May ruling, with all signs pointing to approval. The FCC's 180 day "shot clock" for approval ends on May 29. story continues..
Making Dish network's already unlikely Clearwire takeover bid
even less likely, Clearwire this week announced that they will be taking more Sprint money after all. According to a company press release
, Clearwire will be getting an $80 million payment from Sprint on top of the $2.97-per-share existing offer by Sprint to acquire the rest of Clearwire. Dish had previously stated they'd withdraw their own $3.30-per-share counter-offer if Clearwire accepted that funding. Despite the fact the Sprint financing means the Dish deal is likely dead, Clearwire continues to insist they're engaged in ongoing negotiations with Dish.
Sprint is slowly bringing up LTE in very limited portions of New York City, DC, San Francisco and parts of Florida as those markets get closer to an official launch. Sprint users with LTE-capable devices noticed LTE pop up over the weekend in San Francisco, where the company says deployment is just beginning
Clearwire's fourth quarter earnings
indicate company revenue in the fourth quarter fell 14 percent to $311 million, though its net loss declined to $187.2 million from $236.8 million one year ago. Customers continue to defect -- Clearwire ending the year with 9.6 million total subscribers, down 8% from the 10.4 million subscribers they laid claim to at the end of 2011. Executives essentially just pantomimed their way through the earnings call
, refusing to answer questions on why previous projections had been so wrong, or any questions on the Sprint deal.
Sprint has confirmed last week's leaks that the company will be taking complete control of Clearwire in a move many have assumed was inevitable for years. According to a Sprint announcement
, Sprint says they'll acquire the remaining almost 50% share they don't own for $2.97 per share, or about $2.2 billion in total.
From the "well that's incredibly unsurprising" department comes news that Sprint is in talks with Clearwire to acquire the 49% of the company it currently doesn't already own. Anonymous sources tell CNBC
that while deal "is not imminent," talks are ongoing and a deal could be announced by the end of the year (which sounds somewhat imminent to me).
We've noted repeatedly how privacy technology discussions often have a bizarre and amusing lack of context, the press getting borderline hysterical about every NebuAD
scandal, while ignoring that carriers and the government buy, sell and trade all user information daily with only a fleeting regard for law.
Time and time again we've seen folks come forward with evidence of carriers like AT&T, Sprint and Verizon simply dumping all live traffic in the government's lap
in violation of law (which they simply change when they get caught).
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