Dish Wants FCC to Pause Softbank/Sprint Deal
Charlie Ergen Plays Negotiation Games
by Karl Bode 06:10PM Thursday Jan 17 2013 Tipped by FFH
Dish has asked the FCC to pause their review of Softbank's planned acquisition of Sprint. Dish recently proposed a counter offer to acquire Clearwire
at $3.30 a share, which topped Sprint's offer of $2.90 a share. A Dish acquisition is unlikely however, given Sprint's arrangement with Clearwire carriers steep contractual penalties should the deal fall through. According to Bloomberg
the move is a negotiating attempt by Dish's Charlie Ergen to push Sprint toward a more amicable network sharing deal:
"This is a negotiating tactic for Ergen,” Amy Yong, an analyst at Macquarie Securities in New York, said in an interview. Ergen wants to force Sprint into talks on sharing airwaves, Yong said. Ergen has said he wants to add spectrum -- the airwaves that let mobile devices operate -- to compete with AT&T Inc. (T) and Verizon Wireless in the mobile-phone business. Last month, the FCC approved Dish’s plan to operate wireless devices on airwaves formerly devoted mainly to satellite services.
Dish will ultimately either sign a spectrum sharing arrangement with Sprint in order to launch their own LTE service, or scrap the plan entirely and sell their spectrum to the highest bidder (read: AT&T).