Television provider Dish Network has emerged as a proposed buyer for US telecoms giant Sprint-Nextel.
Dish said on Monday it would be contacting Sprint's board of directors with a proposal for a $25.5bn acquisition deal.
According to Dish, the company would pay out Sprint shareholders with a per-share payment of $7 which would include the value of a stake in a new company to be formed by the merger between the two firms.
The Dish Network proposal looks to top an earlier acquisition offer from SoftBank. Dish argues that its proposal offers shareholders not only a better overall price, but also a larger share in the new company.
"The Dish proposal clearly presents Sprint shareholders with a superior alternative to the pending SoftBank proposal," said Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen.
"Sprint shareholders will benefit from a higher price with more cash while also creating the opportunity to participate more meaningfully in a combined Dish/Sprint with a significantly-enhanced strategic position and substantial synergies that are not attainable through the pending SoftBank proposal."
According to industry analysts, the combination of Dish Network and Sprint would create a new top contender in the multi-screen television market. With Sprint in its fold, Dish could move to offer both home and mobile video services.
"Dish sees strong growth potential in the areas of convergence, multiscreen and connectivity across all platforms, which it sees as the main rationale behind a potential merger with Sprint Nextel," said IHS senior mobile communications analyst Dexter Thillien.
"Beyond the greater scale and efficiency that a combined carrier would bring, Dish sees the possibility to offer content both in and outside the house as a clear path to leadership for the company, as the explosion in data traffic is being led by video demand."
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