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Sprint forms committee to evaluate Dish offer

OVERLAND PARK, Kan. (AP) -- Sprint Nextel has formed a committee of independent directors to review a $25.5 billion buyout offer from Dish Network.

The committee has retained Bank of America Merrill Lynch to act as its financial advisor and will provide an assessment to the full board, the company said Monday.

Dish Network Corp., the third-largest U.S. pay-TV provider, made an unsolicited offer for Sprint earlier this month. It's attempting to block the sale of 70 percent of Sprint to Softbank Corp. of Japan, a deal which Sprint agreed to in October.

Sprint, based in Overland Park, Kansas, is the third-largest U.S. cellphone company.

Dish's offer is driven by new technology and the growing demand from consumers to watch whatever they want, wherever they want to watch it. Sprint's technology could allow, Dish, based in Englewood, Colo., to get closer to that goal.

Sprint shares rose 2 cents to $7.19 in premarket trading.