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WSJ: Dish Network withdrawing $2.2B offer for acquiring LightSquared

updated 09:20 am EST, Thu January 9, 2014

LightSquared acquisition failure follows similar Clearwire, Sprint attempts

Dish Network will soon be ending a bid to acquire LightSquared, according to a report. The proposal, originally placed in May last year and said to be worth $2.2 billion, would have seen the satellite TV provider take control of LightSquared's L-band satellite spectrum and potentially use it for an LTE cellular network, though this is apparently no longer going to happen.

LightSquared filed for bankruptcy in May 2012, after the company failed to appease regulators over complaints that its spectrum would interfere with GPS signals. The proposal by Dish to gain the company and the associated spectrum could have included a second attempt at re-purposing the L-band allocation for cellular use, though it could have used the spectrum with satellites, as originally intended.

The Wall Street Journal claims that LightSquared has opposed the Dish bid, in favor of an investment group's $4 billion restructuring plan, though parties owning close to $2 billion of the company's debt apparently want to continue with the original Dish offer. Dish's withdrawal is complicated by a lawyer for the creditors claiming Dish had breached a contract by not continuing with its bid, though lawyers for Dish claimed it has not formally terminated the agreement, and so has yet to breach the contract.

A number of Dish Network's acquisition efforts in the last year have met a similar fate. Last year, the company lost to Softbank in its attempt to acquire Sprint, then lost to the Softbank-owned Sprint for Clearwire. It has been suggested that Dish is looking at T-Mobile as a potential acquisition for later this year, with the company reported to be in discussions with Deutsche Telekom over the matter.

by MacNN Staff



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