Dish Backs Away from Sprint Merger, Instead Will Focus on Clearwire Acquisition

June 18, 2013 - Written By Briley Kenney

Dish Network announced earlier today that they were stepping down from the offer they made to purchase Sprint. Instead, they’re going to focus on another deal they have with Clearwire. Originally, Dish offered Sprint $25.5 billion to purchase the network and its spectrum.

“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.”

SoftBank and Dish have been battling back and forth to purchase Sprint. SoftBank’s most recent offer was $21.6 billion, and Dish had until June 18th (today) to return its “best and final” offer. Apparently, Dish has decided not to throw down an offer and is backing away from the deal altogether, as you can see from the statement above.

Sprint even joined the fray, filing a lawsuit against Dish in an attempt to block their means of purchasing Clearwire.  The lawsuit would essentially prevent Clearwire from accepting Dish’s offer. Sprint claims that the deal would violate the rights of Sprint and Clearwire shareholders. According to Sprint:

“Dish has repeatedly attempted to fool Clearwire’s shareholders into believing its proposal was actionable in an effort to acquire Clearwire’s spectrum and to obstruct Sprint’s transaction with Clearwire.”

Sprint believes that Dish’s offer to Clearwire is a “transparent attempt to divert attention from its failure to deal fairly with Clearwire’s shareholders.”

Regardless, this means that Sprint is most likely going to be acquired by SoftBank, a Japanese-based wireless carrier. Ultimately, that wouldn’t be a bad thing, but Sprint certainly doesn’t want the Dish and Clearwire deal to go through.

For all you legal types out there, what do you think about this situation? How do you think all of this will go down? Do you think Sprint has credence for their lawsuit and related claims?

Source: CNET