Skip to main content

Charlie Ergen Will Not Have His Effort To Destroy Phil Falcone Called A 'Conflict of Interest'

  • Author:
  • Updated:

An "awkward position," maybe. But that doesn't mean he shouldn't reap all of the rewards of his maybe-shady-but-probably-not-illegal move to buy half of LightSquared's debt, and any (either of the, really) independent directors who disagree can hit the road.

A Dish Network Corp. director who resigned in recent weeks did so amid a disagreement over the company's handling of a bid for a telecommunications firm that could deliver hundreds of millions of dollars of personal profits to Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen, people involved in the situation said.

The director, Gary Howard, was on a special board committee formed to vet the LightSquared Inc. deal because of a potential conflict of interest on Mr. Ergen's part, the people said….

In July, Dish said in a filing a special board committee recommended its $2.22 billion bid for LightSquared. People involved in the matter say the committee members, two independent directors, also indicated to the board they expected the committee to have an ongoing role in the deal discussions. They were concerned the deal could look bad, given Mr. Ergen's personal interest, and wanted to keep open the possibility that Mr. Ergen could direct some of his gains to Dish shareholders, the people said….

The board disbanded the committee at a July 21 board meeting, to the surprise of the committee's members, the people said. On July 23, Dish made its bid for LightSquared. On July 25, Mr. Howard, a nearly eight-year veteran of the board, resigned.

Dish Director Quit Amid Flap [WSJ]