DISH drops Sprint merger bid to focus on Clearwire deal

DISH drops Sprint merger bid to focus on Clearwire deal

DISH Network has published a statement indicating that it has elected not to submit a revised offer for a merger deal with Sprint and will instead focus its efforts on its bid for a stake in Clearwire.

The full statement is as follows:

“While DISH continues to see strategic value in a merger with Sprint, the decisions made by Sprint to prematurely terminate our due diligence process and accept extreme deal protections in its revised agreement with SoftBank, among other things, have made it impracticable for DISH to submit a revised offer by the June 18th deadline imposed by Sprint. We will consider our options with respect to Sprint, and focus our efforts and resources on completing the Clearwire tender offer.”

Japanese telecom Softbank made an offer to buy Sprint last year, but DISH submitted its own $25.5 billion bid that was higher than Softbank’s $20.1 billion deal. Last week, Softbank upped its offer to $21.6 billion and the board accepted, while giving DISH until today (June 18) to submit a “best and final proposal.” Softbank and Sprint managed to get federal clearance for the deal in part by acquiescing to national security concerns over Chinese networking technology.

After Sprint sued DISH earlier this week in hopes of blocking the Clearwire deal, DISH called the move a “transparent attempt to divert attention from its failure to deal fairly with Clearwire’s shareholders.”

Shortly after Sprint entered into a definitive agreement last December to increase its stake in Clearwire to 100 percent stake for $2.2 billion, DISH swooped in with a $2.4 billion offer. As recently as last month, Clearwire was working to convince its minority shareholders to go with the Sprint deal.

The end is in sight when it comes to Sprint, but DISH could be looking to cause some issues when it comes to Clearwire, potentially disrupting things for SoftBank/Sprint.

Image credit: iStockphoto

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