Dish Asks FCC to Stop Clock on Sprint/SoftBank Clearwire Deal

Says Its Competing Bid Means Deal No Longer Ripe for Review

Dish has asked the FCC to stop the clock on its review of Japanese company SoftBank's proposed purchase of Sprint and Sprint's proposed purchase of a controlling interest in Clearwire, given that Dish has made a higher offer for Clearwire that makes the deal "unripe for consideration," says the satellite operator.

Sprint already owns just under 50% of Clearwire, with other investors including Comcast, Sprint, Google, Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks.

Dish launched a surprise bid for Clearwire earlier this month.

"Indeed, with competing offers for Clearwire in place, premature Commission evaluation of Sprint's initial offer could undermine the Commission's policy objective of neutrality in takeover contests by giving SoftBank and Sprint (together, the 'Applicants') a very real advantage in the corporate valuation process," Dish said in a request to hold the deal in abeyance.