T-Mobile, Dish Network In Merger Talks
Yet another major telecom merger deal could be in the works, according to the Wall Street Journal.
Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ: DISH) and T-Mobile US Inc (NYSE: TMUS) have reportedly been in talks to join forces. The deal would combine the second-largest U.S. TV operator and the fourth-largest wireless carrier.
Shares of Dish were up more than 3 percent in the pre-market session, while T-Mobile was up more than 7 percent.
Very few details about the potential deal are known at this time, including any information on purchase price or deal structure. WSJ is reporting, however, that Dish CEO Charlie Ergen would potentially serve as the combined company’s chairman.
Representatives at Dish, T-Mobile and Deutsche Telekom, owner of about 66 percent of T-Mobile, declined to comment on the merger.
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Hungry For Spectrum
T-Mobile’s lack of low-band spectrum has reportedly led the carrier to seek to buy spectrum from smaller rivals. Dish was an unexpected winner of mobile airwaves during the record-setting U.S. auction in January, but has not specifically indicated its intentions for the new spectrum. Dish has also recently expanded into the streaming TV space.
The telecom space is currently in the midst of a wave of consolidation, and the potential T-Mobile/Dish merger is just the latest in a string of deals and proposed deals. AT&T Inc. (NYSE: T) is reportedly close to closing its $49 billion buyout of DirecTV (NASDAQ: DTV). Charter Communications, Inc. (NASDAQ: CHTR) also recently made a $56 billion bid for Time Warner Cable Inc (NYSE: TWC).
Some potential major deals in the space recently have fallen apart under regulatory scrutiny. A proposed 2014 merger between T-Mobile and Sprint Corp (NYSE: S) was abandoned after regulatory push-back.
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