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Dish Chairman Lambasts SoftBank Comments in Sprint Deal

by Todd Haselton | May 2, 2013May 2, 2013 10:30 am PDT

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Dish and SoftBank are currently in a bidding war to woo Sprint and its shareholders. SoftBank first offered $20 billion to acquire 70 percent of Sprint, then Dish came in and offered $25.5 billion. SoftBank responded saying its offer is better and that Dish isn’t committed to the deal. Apparently that struck a chord with Dish chairman Charlie Ergen, who has a few choice words for SoftBank.

“We’re offering a higher price. That’s just math,” Ergen said in a recent interview with USA TODAY. “We are an American company, and the modernization of Sprint’s network will have to be done from the U.S. You have to climb the towers here, and you’ll have to have U.S. employees who speak English. Operations command control will be in America.” Ergen said that these aren’t necessarily bad things but that they’re simply facts. He also added that employing an American company is good for American jobs.

“I was disappointed by the conference,” he explained, referencing the recent statements made by SoftBank president Masayoshi Son. Ergen said he felt Son’s statements weren’t about business and were more of a personal attack. “It’s insulting to managers of Sprint to say that the only team that knows how to build a network is in Japan,” he explained.

Sprint’s board of directors is currently considering offers from both firms.

USA TODAY

Todd Haselton

Todd Haselton has been writing professionally since 2006 during his undergraduate days at Lehigh University. He started out as an intern with...

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