Sprint is currently being courted by two different companies — Japanese carrier SoftBank is still hoping its $20.1 billion bid will clear on July 1st, but satellite TV provider Dish is now attempting a $25.5 billion takeover of the US's third-largest wireless carrier. Now, according to a just-released FCC filing, Dish is getting more aggressive about stopping the SoftBank / Sprint deal from going forward. Dish has asked US regulators to hold their review of the SoftBank deal on the grounds that a Sprint / Dish deal would be better for the country from a national security standpoint. The government was already looking into the SoftBank deal because of concerns about the Japanese carrier using Huawei equipment, which the US believes is a national security risk — Dish is hoping its deal with Sprint will prove to be a safer option.
It's looking increasingly likely that Sprint will have a new owner sometime this year
Security isn't the only trump card Dish is playing — the company also claims its deal will be better from a business perspective. There's the $5 billion difference in the offer Dish is making, plus the company claims that SoftBank's foreign roots means it lacks "existing in-market infrastructure" that Dish has. The company is hoping that the FCC will hold off ruling on the Sprint / SoftBank deal so that Sprint can properly evaluate Dish's offer without "undue interference" — a bit of a bold claim since SoftBank's deal has been on the table since October of last year.
Regardless of Dish's FCC filing, it appears that Sprint is taking its offer under serious consideration — The Wall Street Journal is reporting that Sprint has formed a special committee to evaluate the offer. The company may just be doing its due dilligence, but it seems there's enough in that offer to make the company potentially re-evaluate the SoftBank deal. Each company will bring different strategies, strengths, and weaknesses to the table so the dollar figure isn't the only factor under consideration, but one thing is for sure — chances are stronger than ever that Sprint will have a new owner sometime this year.