Dish Offers to Buy Sprint, Joining Phone to TV Service.
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. Dish Network, the pay-TV operator, wants to bridge that gap.
Dish Network said on Monday that it had submitted a $25.5 billion bid for Sprint Nextel, the nation’s third-largest wireless carrier after Verizon Wireless and AT&T. It says that 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.
“It really means that we’re going to give consumers what every consumer wants,” Charles W. Ergen, Dish Network’s chairman, said in a phone interview. “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 priced outside the same as it is inside.”
Dish Network’s bid is an effort to scuttle 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.
Under the terms of its proposed bid, Dish Network said it was offering a cash-and-stock deal worth about 13 percent more than SoftBank’s bid.