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Dish abandons bid for Sprint

The satellite-TV firm still seeks a stake in Clearwire, the telecom service provider's partner.

June 21, 2013|By Mark Davis

Dish Network Corp. said Friday that it has abandoned its pursuit of Sprint Nextel Corp., clearing the path for Sprint's $21.6-billion deal with SoftBank Corp.

Dish's announcement did not end the company's quest to acquire shares of Clearwire Corp., Sprint's wireless network partner that has agreed to merge with Sprint.

In a filing Friday with the Securities and Exchange Commission, Dish did not give an explanation for its decision to drop its bid for Sprint.

On Tuesday, the company said that a new agreement between Sprint and Tokyo-based SoftBank made a Dish offer "impractical" for the satellite television company. The agreement made it more difficult for Sprint to declare any rival bids superior to SoftBank's deal.

Sprint shareholders are set to vote Tuesday on SoftBank's agreement to pay $21.6 billion for 78% of the Overland Park, Kan. wireless company.

Sprint had rejected an April proposal from Dish to buy Sprint for $25.5 billion, saying the offer was not one Sprint could act on.

Clearwire has set a July 8 shareholder vote on Sprint's offer to buy the roughly 49% of Clearwire it doesn't already own. The companies announced the $5-a-share agreement Thursday.

Dish has an offer to buy Clearwire shares directly from investors for $4.40 a share.

Davis writes for the Kansas City Star/McClatchy.

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