Dish Network is in merger talks with T-Mobile U.S., says a Wall Street Journal report from Thursday. The negotiations are described as being in the “formative” stages.
Dish CEO Charlie Ergen would become the new company’s chairman, while T-Mobile CEO John Legere would retain his rank, sources told The Wall Street Journal. The major obstacles are believed to be financial, namely a purchase price and the percentages of cash and stock that would pay for the deal.
A deal with T-Mobile would give Dish an alternate source of income in addition to its satellite television business, which is steadily shrinking. Dish also holds billions of dollars in wireless licenses, but lacks the cellular network to make use of them.
One result of a Dish/T-Mobile merger would be a broadband entertainment company that could offer T-Mobile’s 57 million subscribers bundled video, broadband, and voice services, with T-Mobile perhaps offering its customers a deal that would include Dish’s Sling streaming TV service. Dish recently began offering a $20 per month streaming TV service via its Sling TV subsidiary. If Dish and T-Mobile make a deal, it would create quite the competitor for Apple’s much-rumored streaming television service.
Dish’s main competitor, DirecTV, is currently being acquired by AT&T. The $49 billion dollar deal is still subject to approval by regulators, as would any Dish/T-Mobile deal.