Dish Abandons Sprint Bid

Satellite Giant Says Will Focus on Clearwire Proposal Instead

Dish Network said late Tuesday that it would not submit a revised offer for Sprint Nextel, effective abandoning its pursuit of the wireless phone giant.

Dish had launched a $25.5 Billion bid in April for 100% of Sprint, rivaling a $20.1 billion offer Japanese wireless carrier SoftBank made for 78% of the company.  After Sprint’s board said it would evaluate the Dish offer and allowed the satellite giant to conduct due diligence on the wireless carrier,  SoftBank sweetened its bid for the company to $21.6 billion. The new SoftBank proposal meant less money for Sprint, but gave more cash to Sprint shareholders. Sprint's board of directors announced on June 10 that the SoftBank proposal was superior, but gave Dish until June 18 to come up with a better bid.

Late Tuesday, Dish said in a statement that it would focus on its ongoing bid for wireless carrier Clearwire. On Monday, Sprint sued Dish in Delaware Chancery Court, claiming its Clearwire bid violated its existing agreements with the WiMax pioneer. Sprint owns 50.2% of Clearwire's voting shares.

"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 18 deadline imposed by Sprint," Dish said in a statement. "We will consider our options with respect to Sprint, and focus our efforts and resources on completing the Clearwire tender offer."