LightSquared: Ergen Sounds Like Nixon

Feb 27 2014 | 12:09pm ET

Harbinger Capital Management’s wireless internet venture thinks that Dish Network founder Charles Ergen is sounding a lot like President Richard Nixon.

LightSquared is seeking to have Ergen’s purchases of its debt declared illegal, arguing that competitors were barred from buying it. Ergen has said he bought the debt as a “personal investment” before Dish became interested in acquiring LightSquared’s share of the electromagnetic spectrum.

LightSquared called that “the type of ‘non-denial denials’ the Nixon White House offered when confronted by the Watergate break-in.” The company said Ergen merely sought to “sow confusion and have the bankruptcy process collapse, so that he could swoop in and pick up the pieces.”

Ergen allegedly bought up about $1 billion in LightSquared debt through a hedge fund, without disclosing that he was behind the purchases.

Dish last month dropped its $2.2 billion bid for LightSquared’s assets.

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