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T-Mobile and Dish Network reportedly in talks over a merger
For almost nearly as long as Android has been available on commercial devices, U.S. carrier T-Mobile has been seeking a new dance partner in order to help it really take things to the next level. Back in 2011, that partner was AT&T, which ultimately fell through due to FCC concerns. More recently, there were talks about Sprint and T-Mobile merging, though again the FCC seemingly kept things from going forward.
Since then, T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, has made it clear they are still looking for someone to merge the US carrier with. The main reason is that T-Mobile simply lacks the scale (spectrum, deep pockets, etc) to compete with the likes of AT&T and Verizon. That and attempting to compete reportedly costs the uncarrier around $4 to $5 billion a year.
The combined company would see Dish CEO Charlie Ergen and T-Mobile CEO John Legere take up positions as co-Chairmans of the new company.
Many have speculated that T-Mobile might turn its attention towards a merger with a cable or satellite company. After all, many of the FCC’s objections have been because they don’t want to move away from a “four main carrier” wireless ecosystem. Merging with a cable/satellite company wouldn’t affect this situation. Now a new report from the Wall Street Journal claims that T-Mobile is in talks with Dish Network over a possible merger. Reportedly the combined company would see Dish CEO Charlie Ergen and T-Mobile CEO John Legere take up positions as co-Chairmans of the new company.
The idea of Dish getting into the cellular business isn’t a new one. First, the company has been working to amass wireless spectrum through sales and auctions for years. Second, back in 2013 Dish tried to get its hands on Sprint. Dish put up a last minute bid in attempt to win the company over from Softbank, which at the time was still in the process of buying the Now Network. As we all know, Softbank eventually came out the victor here.
Bottom-line, a Dish and T-Mobile combined network wouldn’t be that surprising. Of course the Wall Street Journal reports that the talks are still in the “formative stage” meaning that things could certainly fall through. Even if both companies go full speed ahead, there still remains hurdles such as appeasing the FCC, stock holders, and the list goes on.
What do you think about the idea of a combined Dish/T-Mobile where CEO Legere still remains a key leader in the business? Share your thoughts in the comments.