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SoftBank grants waiver for Sprint to talk more to Dish

The Japanese wireless carrier is letting its rival Dish go into further talks with Sprint, saying that "we are providing this waiver because we are confident in the value of our transaction."

Masayoshi Son, SoftBank's CEO.
Stephen Shankland/CNET

SoftBank made a bold move in its ongoing battle with Dish to acquire Sprint. The Japanese wireless carrier gave Sprint a special waiver on Monday to let it go into more broad talks with Dish.

While this seems counterintuitive, SoftBank said that it believes further talks between Dish and Sprint will only show the U.S. wireless carrier that SoftBank is the superior candidate for the acquisition.

"We continue to believe that our agreed transaction, which we plan to close in approximately six weeks, creates substantially greater value and provides far greater certainty for Sprint shareholders," SoftBank Holdings President Ron Fisher said in a statement. "We are providing this waiver because we are confident in the value of our transaction, and to ensure that Sprint and Softbank can move quickly and with no risk of delay or confusion, towards implementing our detailed investment plans."

Sprint has been in talks with SoftBank since last October regarding a $20.1 billion offer. But, as the closing date neared, Dish came in with a surprise counteroffer of $25.5 billion.

The two companies have carried out a public war of words, each claiming it would be the best buyer for the troubled wireless carrier. As of last week, Dish said it plans to sell about $2.5 billion in debt to help fund its proposed takeover of Sprint.

If SoftBank ends up being Sprint's chosen one, the company plans on closing the deal July 1.