Intel worried about Dish

Eriq Gardner, who writes the Hollywood, Esq., blog for the Hollywood Reporter has been all over Dish’s ongoing battle with the networks and its efforts to break into the wireless business. And he was back today with a juicy roundup of the furious round of lobbying touched off at the FCC by Dish’s effort to rest Sprint away from Softbank.

One of the more interesting tidbits: Dish’s $25.5 billion bid for Sprint has apparently spooked Intel sufficiently to prompt Intel CEO Paul Otellini to weigh in from the road with an email to FCC chairman Julius Genachowski:

I am travelling in Asia this week. I met with Son-san of Softbank yesterday. I simply wanted to add my name to the list of companies hoping that Softbank will be able to acquire Sprint, rather than Dish. Son-san’s vision to build a high speed competitive third national network is very compelling. We need this competition in the wireless space as the ATT/Verizon model is not giving that to consumers at this time. I just wanted you to know where I and Intel stand on this important matter.

Why should Intel care whether Dish or Software ends up with Sprint? Probably because Intel is planning to launch a nationwide over-the-top/IPTV service and is concerned that if it gets its hands on Sprint Dish would be able to offer a similar bundle of linear TV and OTT, on-demand video via wireless broadband. Those concerns were no doubt stoked earlier this month by news that Dish was also in talks with Aereo, which if it prevails in court could be ripe for bundling with wireless broadband.

On Monday, Sprint issued a press release announcing it had received from Softbank a waiver of certain provisions of their pending merger agreement that will allow Sprint “to enter into a non-disclosure agreement and discussions with DISH for the purpose of clarifying and obtaining further information from DISH regarding its proposal made on April 15, 2013.”

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