It looks like Sprint may actually be thinking the DISH proposal is worth comparing seriously with the longtime Softbank offer that has been on the table since last fall (CTDaily, 04/15/13). A new special committee of independent directors “plans to evaluate the proposal and additional information that the committee has requested from DISH and provide its assessment to the full Board” as to whether DISH trumps Softbank. DISH does have its fans. Precursor President Scott Cleland notes, “DISH’s $25 billion offer for Sprint spotlights a huge relative weakness in the Softbank-Sprint deal – no synergies… Real synergies are the mother’s milk of deals. Real differentiation is the key to competing successfully. Spectrum is hugely valuable to an all-wireless platform. And combining different assets in new ways to meet new needs is innovation.” What DISH really brings to the table, he adds, are “valuable 4G-ready fallow spectrum, and a uniquely-differentiated, lower-priced, more-mobile-video-friendly, all-wireless platform…A DISH-Sprint offering would be much more competitively disruptive than a Softbank-Sprint deal; it’s not even a close call.”
Editor’s Note: After CTDaily posted for the day, DISH released the following statement regarding Sprint’s new special committee:
"We are pleased that the Sprint Board of Directors has formed a special committee to review our proposal. We are available to meet with Sprint’s Board, management and advisors to discuss our plans and our willingness to commit to financing. We are confident that the Sprint Board will share our view that this proposal is superior on several fronts by offering Sprint shareholders greater value with a higher price and more cash, while also creating the opportunity to participate meaningfully in a combined, and competitively unique, DISH/Sprint.
"Our proposal creates a company with an industry-leading spectrum portfolio and the only company that can offer customers a fully-integrated, nationwide bundle of in- and out-of-home video, broadband and voice services while unlocking the full potential of Sprint’s Network Vision. Additionally, the combined national footprints and scale of DISH/Sprint will provide substantial benefits to the American public by bringing improved broadband services to millions of homes with inferior or no access to competitive broadband services."