Charles W. Ergen is regarded as one of the wiliest negotiators in the business world. But in a little over a week, Mr. Ergen, chairman of the Dish Network, has been dealt two tough hands, one at Sprint Nextel and the other at Clearwire.

Both may pose problems for his apparent dream of transforming Dish from a satellite television company into a bigger wireless services giant. That doesn’t mean that Mr. Ergen is walking away from deal-making altogether.

Dish has clearly signaled that it will walk away from Sprint, after SoftBank of Japan raised its takeover offer for the cellphone service provider to $21.6 billion. The company said on Friday that it would pay back $2.5 billion in recently issued bonds meant to back a Sprint takeover.

And though Dish seemed ready to buy a significant stake in Clearwire as recently as last week with a bid of $4.40 a share, Sprint’s revised offer of $5 a share on Thursday made that prospect seem dicier. With the newly sweetened proposal — Sprint’s third bid since last fall — roughly 45 percent of Clearwire’s independently held shares are expected to be tied to that approach.

Dish hasn’t commented yet on the latest counterpunch by its rival. But several analysts expect Sprint’s offer to prevail.

Read the full article here: http://dealbook.nytimes.com/2013/06/21/sprint-may-be-off-the-table-but-dishs-deal-appetite-may-remain/?_r=0