DANA POINT, Calif. Feb 11 Dish Network Corp
Chairman Charlie Ergen dismissed speculation his
surprise $2.3 billion bid for Clearwire Corp was
"illusory," saying that he wanted a stake in the wireless
company and that rival bidder Sprint Nextel would have to
work to fend off Dish.
Last month, Dish announced it had made an offer of $3.30 per
share for Clearwire, which had already agreed to sell itself to
majority owner Sprint for $2.97 per share. A special committee
on the Clearwire board is now reviewing the offer.
The 59-year-old Ergen told the AllThingsDigital "Dive into
Media" conference in southern California on Monday that he fully
intended to go through with the bid. Addressing speculation
about his plans for some $3 billion in purchased wireless
spectrum, he explained he did not intend to sell it.
Dish has not explained why it bid for Clearwire. While some
analysts speculate it may simply be hoping to gain leverage in
talks with Sprint about a network partnership, others suggest it
wants Clearwire's spectrum.