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Intel supremo backs biz pal SoftBank's billion-dollar bid for Sprint

Otellini: Japanese have made a 'very compelling' offer

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Intel chief Paul Otellini has told a US regulator that he backs SoftBank's bid for Sprint rather than Dish Network's counter-offer.

Otellini said in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, seen by Reuters, that the $20.1bn offer from Japan's SoftBank for the US's third largest cell network operator would be good for the marketplace.

"We need this competition in the wireless space as the ATT/Verizon model is not giving that to consumers at this time," he told the FCC.

He added that SoftBank's vision to build a high-speed third national network was "very compelling".

SoftBank is a business partner of Intel's, hence Otellini's interest in the deal, the chip-churning giant added.

"His email to the FCC reflects our view that the addition of a third competitor to the market will be beneficial to consumers and SoftBank has a reputation as being a market disrupter which can provide benefits as well," an Intel spokesman said.

Sprint is currently mulling over SoftBank's offer as well as Dish's $25.5bn counter-bid, which emerged earlier this month.

SoftBank has said that it doesn't see any reason to raise its offer after Dish's counter-bid because its deal is still a better bet.

"There is absolutely no need for that since we believe our offer is above theirs," SoftBank's founder and chief Masayoshi Son said during a briefing in Tokyo. ®

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