Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen hit back against SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son, and asserted that Dish's $25.5 billion bid to take control of Sprint Nextel would be better for the United States.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said he does not see a need for Sprint Nextel to raise its $2.97 per share offer to take control of Clearwire, and that Sprint would be happy owning merely 65 percent of the company.
The battle between Japan's SoftBank and Dish Network for control of Sprint Nextel is getting nastier, with Dish warning the FCC that it should take into account SoftBank's ties to UTStarcom, which settled bribery allegations in 2009 with the Department of Justice.
SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son said his company would not raise its $20.1 billion offer for 70 percent of Sprint Nextel to compete with Dish Network's unsolicited $25.5 billion counterbid because SoftBank's offer is already superior.
Sprint Nextel said SoftBank has given it permission to obtain more information from Dish Network regarding Dish's $25.5 billion bid for Sprint. However, SoftBank's waiver does not let Sprint disclose nonpublic information or negotiate with Dish.
With its fate still uncertain, Clearwire revealed relatively sluggish first-quarter results, which are likely the company's last as an independent entity. The company also said it continues to recommend Sprint Nextel's bid to acquire Clearwire over Verizon Wireless' competing bid to acquire some of Clearwire's spectrum license leases.
Sprint Nextel is squarely focused on driving its Network Vision network modernization project, which includes the rollout of LTE network technology, and is not letting Dish Network and SoftBank's competing bids for the company affect the effort, according to Sprint CFO Joe Eueteneuer.
Sprint Nextel is shifting its focus to the future and its CDMA and LTE networks as it nears the shutdown of its Nextel iDEN network, scheduled for the middle of the year. As it has in the past several quarters, the company reported relatively strong metrics for its "Sprint platform" (CDMA and LTE) while losing subscribers from its legacy Nextel (iDEN) network.
As questions swirl about whether Dish Network or Japan's SoftBank will control Sprint Nextel, Sprint heads into its first-quarter earnings report with the focus on more mundane matters: how many postpaid subscribers it gained or lost, how many Apple iPhones it activated in the period, and how far along it is in deploying its LTE network.
Dish Network asked the FCC to pause its review of Japanese operator SoftBank's proposed acquisition of 70 percent of Sprint Nextel while Sprint's board considers Dish's own counterbid for Sprint. Dish said its offer for Sprint "is better for the American consumer, better for Sprint's shareholders, and better for U.S. national security than the SoftBank proposal."