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USA Dish Networks Seeks Time to Object to Softbank Takeover of Sprint Nexteel

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USA based Dish Network, which has just been granted conditional permits to reuse its satellite spectrum for a terrestrial broadband network is seeking more time to file objections to Softbank's purchase of a majority stake in Sprint Nextel.

Sprint Nextel has itself announced a deal to buy out minority shareholders in its Clearwire subsidiary, which would leave the company with the largest holding of radio spectrum of any of the US mobile networks.

Dish Network is reported to have raised concerns about so much radio spectrum being held by a company ultimately controlled by a Japanese corporation, although it is not clear what the objection could be, other the nationalistic protectionism.

Dish is seeking a 3-week extension on the current January 4th deadline for objections to be submitted to the telecoms regulator, the FCC to give it time to flesh out the justifications for its objections.

Dish is however also said to be in talks with Sprint over a deal for Sprint to reuse Dish's recently released radio spectrum. The acquisition of Clearwire and the cash injection from Softbank would reduce the need for Sprint to take up the offer of the Dish Network spectrum deal.

TMF Associates's Tim Farrar also reported that Dish had made an offer of its own to buy Clearwire's minority shareholders, and that lead to Sprint to make its counter-bid while pushing to delay Dish's radio spectrum refarming application with the regulator.

He suggests that the companies are playing a complex game of regulatory maneuvers seeking to get deals that would favour their own radio spectrum holdings.

On the web: Reuters - Tim Farrar

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Tags: sprint nextel  clearwire  dish network  USA