Satellite broadcaster Dish Network Corp. has made a $25.5-billion bid for Sprint Nextel Corp.
If consummated, the deal would combine one of the nation's biggest pay-TV providers with the third-largest wireless communications company.
The unsolicited Dish offer, which was announced Monday morning, is aimed at derailing Sprint's plans to merge with Japan's SoftBank Corp, a proposed deal valued at $20 billion. The Dish offer is made up of $17.3 billion in cash and $8.2 billion in Dish stock.
"A transformative DISH/Sprint merger will create the only company that can offer customers a convenient, fully-integrated, nationwide bundle of in- and out-of-home video, broadband and voice services," Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said in a statement.
Dish said its offer -- valued at $7 per share -- is a "superior alternative" to the SoftBank proposal.
"Sprint shareholders will benefit from a higher price with more cash while also creating the opportunity to participate more meaningfully in a combined DISH/Sprint with a significantly-enhanced strategic position and substantial synergies that are not attainable through the pending SoftBank proposal," Ergen said.