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Is DISH Network Corp. (DISH) Giving Up on Sprint Nextel Corporation (S) — Or Just Regrouping?

Is DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) really throwing in the towel in its battle with SoftBank for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S)?

Knocked back on its heels by SoftBank’s offer of an additional $4.5 billion in cash to Sprint stockholders, DISH released a statement late Tuesday saying, “While DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) continues to see strategic value in a merger with Sprint … [Sprint’s] revised agreement with SoftBank … [has] made it impracticable for DISH to submit a revised offer by the June 18th deadline imposed by Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S). We will consider our options with respect to Sprint, and focus our efforts and resources on completing the Clearwire (NASDAQ:CLWR) tender offer.”


From that statement, DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) seems to be totally giving up on acquiring Sprint. But wait, we have to remember that only two months ago DISH seemed to be stepping back from its original proposed buyout of Clearwire Corporation (NASDAQ:CLWR) and instead made its shocking counteroffer for Sprint Nextel Corporation (NYSE:S).

We also have to remember who’s running the show at DISH. Chairman and founder Charlie Ergen does not give up what he wants without a fight — he once likened his company to “a dog with a bone” — and it is clear that he desperately wants DISH to be a player in the wireless communication industry.

He has called his company a “one-trick pony” in the slow-growth business of pay TV. Mobile video and data as well as wireless voice communications is where the future dollars will be, and Ergen does not want DISH Network Corp. (NASDAQ:DISH) to be left behind.