Dish Powers-Up Anti-SoftBank Rhetoric

Posted by at 11:13 am on May 24, 2013

Dish Networks came out swinging in response to reports that Japan’s SoftBank will allow the U.S. to name a member to Sprint’s board of directors in its attempt to diffuse any worry about national security. “A Dish-Sprint will be better for national security by preserving domestic ownership, control and accountability over Sprint’s national wireless network and fiber backbone network, which provides classified services to government, law enforcement and military customers,” the company said.

Dish was sure to point out that if Sprint accepts its offer, the result will be a company that it financed, run, and wholly owned by Americans. It played the fear card by noting, “Dish is not foreign-controlled; Dish does not operate infrastructure dependent on Chinese equipment; Dish does not own nearly a third of the Chinese e-commerce giant, Alibaba; Dish was not affiliated with a company that admitted bribing Chinese officials for telecommunications contracts.”

Further, it reiterated that it believes its offer for Sprint is better in that it places a higher value on the company and brings with it additional spectrum and an existing customer base. Beyond its rhetoric, Dish took steps to ascertain financing for its proposed acquisition of Sprint.

The Wall Street Journal reports that Dish has received signed commitment letters from five banks. It has now raised $12 billion of the $25.5 billion in funding it needs to purchase Sprint. Sprint is currently negotiating with Dish over its proposal, though Sprint’s board of directors still recommends the SoftBank deal over Dish’s.

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