Dish Network (NASDAQ:
) Chairman Charlie Ergen thinks that SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son
was bluffing when he said that he would not raise the price of
his offer for Sprint (NYSE:
). The two corporate leaders got into a war of words this week,
but instead of tweeting back and forth like a
bunch of celebrities
, Son held a press conference to reassure investors that SoftBank
would win the bid for Sprint.
"Charlie has no expertise in the mobile industry," the
. He referred to Dish Network as being an "amateur" player within
the mobile space.
Ergen responded to Son's criticism by reminding investors of
Dish Network's higher price.
"We're offering a higher price. That's just math," Ergen told
. "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. That's
good for jobs. It doesn't mean that the other guys are bad. It's
just that we have an advantage."
Ergen also said that he was "disappointed" by Son's
conference, which was more about "personal attacks" than
"It's insulting to managers of Sprint to say that the only
team that knows how to build a network is in Japan," he said.
The feud stems from Dish Network's unexpected offer to
purchase Sprint, which came roughly six months after SoftBank
announced its intentions to acquire the company.
Back in October, SoftBank offered
for a 70 percent stake in America's third-largest carrier. At the
time, Benzinga's Jeff Uscher
that SoftBank wanted Sprint to bolster its technology and expand
When no other buyers emerged (and when no other buys appeared
on the rumor mill), SoftBank thought that its offer was safe.
Dish Network changed all that when it decided to offer
for Sprint -- a significant increase over SoftBank's offer. The
unprecedented deal came after the satellite provider failed to
successfully build its own mobile network.
If Dish Network had been successful in its previous venture,
it could have created a fifth major player in the crowded
cellular service industry. By acquiring Sprint instead, Dish
Network will enter the market as the third most popular carrier
Whether or not it will maintain that position remains to be
Louis Bedigian is the Senior Tech Analyst and Features Writer
of Benzinga. You can reach him at 248-636-1322 or
louis(at)benzingapro(dot)com. Follow him
(c) 2013 Benzinga.com. Benzinga does not provide investment
advice. All rights reserved.
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