And the drama continues. After Sprint received a $25.5 billion buyout offer from Dish, besting Softbank’s offer by $5 billion, and Softbank called Dish’s proposal unrealistic, we’ve now received word that Dish is saying a Sprint merger with Softbank could raise national security concerns. Apparently, Dish took out a full-page color ad in the New York Post, comparing SoftBank’s acquisition of Sprint to the 2006 Dubai Ports World controversy, when it became known that some ports along the eastern seaboard of the US were to be purchased by foreign interests.
Dish stated, “In an ever advancing world, ‘ports’ may change, but keeping them in American hands never should. Don’t outsource our national security.” Virginia Republican Morgan Griffith also said, “I’m always concerned when we are putting our national infrastructure … into the hands of foreign companies.”
For what it’s worth, in the interest of full disclosure, Verizon is 45% owned by UK-based Vodafone, while T-Mobile is owned entirely by German-based Deutsche Telekom. Dish Network also outsources some of its call centers overseas.
In any case, SoftBank isn’t letting down, and is even allowing the US government to choose one of the 10 directors to its board, if it is allowed to proceed in acquiring Sprint. Furthermore, the director that the US government chooses will be in charge of overseeing national security issues.
Things are certainly getting heated between Softbank and Dish, but I think I speak for everyone when I say that I just want Sprint to get acquired by whomever will help speed up the LTE rollout the most. Seriously – I’m sick of 12kbps download speeds on 3G (no, that’s not a typo).[Reuters via The Verge]