DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) has asked the Federal Communications Commission to slow down the merger between Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) and Softbank Corp (PINK:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) The $20 billion agreement between the two companies gave Softbank 70 percent of Sprint Nextel in return for cash that would enable Sprint Nextel to make a bid for the rest of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) that it didn’t already control. But now regulatory documents filed by DISH contend that the FCC should halt its review of the deal between Sprint and Softbank because if that deal falls through, Sprint won’t be able to buy Clearwire.
By acquiring Clearwire, Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) would gain control of the company’s wireless spectrum, adding it to the spectrum it already owns. A deal has already been struck for Sprint Nextel to buy out Clearwire at $2.97 per share.
However DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) made a bid to try to buy Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) out from under Sprint earlier this month. The company bid $3.30 per share, even though it had not been solicited for an offer. When Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) received DISH’s offer, it said it was limited because of its close relationship with Sprint Nextel Corporation, which owns more than half of the company. Bloomberg reports that Clearwire is planning to talk with DISH and keep its options open even though it struck a deal with Sprint.
DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) calls the deal between Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) and Softbank Corp (PINK:SFTBF) (TYO:9984) “unripe for consideration” because of the maneuvering that’s underway as Sprint attempts to acquire Clearwire.