Dish Network Uses National Security To Lobby Against Softbank

DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) is running an advertising campaign which claims that Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (PINK:SFTBF)’s pending acquisition of part of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S) is a threat to national security.

Dish Network Uses National Security To Lobby Against Softbank

It’s just one of the weapons being used in the battle of the two companies for their prize. Earlier this month Softbank sharpened its own weapons against DISH, showing off its TD-LTE experience as part of its courtship of Sprint Nextel.

DISH Network’s National Security Campaign

Reuters’ Liana B. Baker reports that thus far the campaign is in Washington-area newspapers and on the Internet. DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) has been focusing its efforts on national security since April when it filed a number of documents which listed some alleged risks associated with Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (PINK:SFTBF)’s acquisition of Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S).

DISH Network posted the ad in Section A of the Washington Post. The ad compared the Japanese company’s proposed acquisition of Sprint to the Dubai Ports World controversy in 2006. At that time, lawmakers blocked a deal that would have sold off a number of ports. The concerns then were also about national security. The satellite TV provider also said that China is the leading cause of breaches in cyber-security.

Softbank Responds to DISH Network

Softbank Corp. (TYO:9984) (PINK:SFTBF) issued a response to the ad campaign on its own website, saying that it will use only network equipment that has been approved by the U.S. government. Earlier this year, the company told regulators that it wouldn’t use equipment made by Chinese company Huawei in Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)’s network.

Lawmakers’ Responses to DISH Network’s Ad Campaign

Attorney James Burger, who was interviewed by Baker, was skeptical that DISH Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH)’s ad campaign would work. He said Japan is seen as an ally, and if Softbank agrees not to use any China-made equipment, then there isn’t much point in the company’s national security argument.

However, DISH said it believes its campaign is working. The company based that on a response from former National Intelligence Director Mike McConnell, who said he wasn’t in favor of a foreign entity controlling a communications company in the U.S.