Dish Network took many by surprise yesterday when it announced an offer to merge with Sprint for $25.5 billion. The proposal caught many off-guard not only because there hadn't really been any rumblings about it beforehand, but also because Sprint revealed late last year that it had entered into an agreement in which Japanese carrier SoftBank would drop $20.1 billion for a 70 percent stake in Sprint. Now it looks like there are two companies vying for the attention of Hesse and Co., and while Dish may feel that its bid is "a superior alternative" to SoftBank's, the folks at SoftBank don't seem terribly concerned about it.
SoftBank today issued a statement on Dish's proposal for Sprint, saying that it believes that the deal that it's already got with Sprint offers both short-term and long-term benefits that are better than Dish's "highly conditional preliminary proposal." The Japanese operator goes on to say that its agreement with Sprint is in advanced stages of gaining the approval it needs to go through and that it's expected that the deal will close on July 1 with the terms that are already in place.
Sprint CEO Dan Hesse said that, along with gaining new capital from the SoftBank deal, would also be able to learn from SoftBank's 4G LTE rollout and apply that knowledge to its own LTE network growth. However, Dish feels that it can help out with Sprint's network as well thanks to the fact that its holds licenses to 45MHz of spectrum. It looks like Sprint has a bit of a tough decision on its hands, and while SoftBank appears confident that it'll be the one to win Sprint's heart, we'll just have to wait to see exactly how this whole situation plays out.