In a move that could change relationships between consumers and their data providers, Dish Network is making a high-stakes bid for Sprint Nextel, The New York Times reports.
“Smartphones, tablets and computers all pull data from the Internet, but people still pay two different bills: the high-speed connection they get at home, and the wireless connection they get outside,” the piece reports. “Dish Network, the pay-TV operator, wants to bridge that gap.”
Dish’s bid for the country’s third-largest wireless carrier is valued at $25.5 billion. “A merger between the two companies could roll television, high-speed Internet and cellphone services into a single package that would be faster and more affordable for consumers,” the story reports.
In a phone interview, Charlie Ergen, Dish Network’s chairman, said: “It really means that we’re going to give consumers what every consumer wants. They want broadband and video and voice in their home and want the exact same thing outside the home. And they want it to look and feel and [be] priced outside the same as it is inside.”
The report adds: “Dish Network’s bid is an effort to scupper the planned takeover of Sprint Nextel by the Japanese telecommunications company SoftBank, which agreed in October to acquire a 70 percent stake in the American cellphone operator in a complex deal worth about $20 billion.”
Dish said its offer, in cash and stock, is worth about 13% more than the SoftBank bid.