Intel backs SoftBank's bid for Sprint Nextel

Intel's CEO Paul Otellini said in a letter to the FCC that the deal will promote competition

Intel has backed SoftBank's bid for Sprint Nextel, citing that the deal would bring needed competition in the wireless space in the U.S.

In a letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski, Intel CEO Paul Otellini said that SoftBank Chairman and CEO Masayoshi Son's "vision to build a high speed competitive third national network is very compelling."

The competition in the wireless space is needed as the model provided by AT&T and Verizon Wireless is not giving that to consumers at this time, Otellini said. "I just wanted you to know where I and Intel stand on this important matter," he added.

It is not clear why Intel has taken a position in favor of the deal between SoftBank and Sprint Nextel, which is facing a rival bid from Dish Network. The satellite TV service provider made a US$25.5 billion bid to acquire Sprint earlier this month.

"I simply wanted to add my name to the list of companies hoping that Softbank will be able to acquire Sprint, rather than Dish," Otellini wrote in the letter, a copy of which was provided to Marlene H. Dortch, secretary at the FCC.

Intel could not be immediately reached for comment.

Sprint meanwhile received clearance on Monday from SoftBank to enter into a non-disclosure agreement with Dish to seek further information from it regarding its preliminary proposal this month. Sprint is, however, barred from disclosing any non-public information to Dish or to negotiate terms for a future deal.

SoftBank announced in October last year that it had reached a deal to acquire a 70 percent stake in Sprint for $20 billion. The Japanese company is to announce its full-year financial results later on Tuesday.

John Ribeiro covers outsourcing and general technology breaking news from India for The IDG News Service. Follow John on Twitter at @Johnribeiro. John's e-mail address is john_ribeiro@idg.com

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