Will Dish Be Able to Snare T-Mobile?
Dish Network Corp (NASDAQ:DISH) and Sprint (NYSE:S) may be rearing up for a bidding fight over T-Mobile (NYSE:TMUS), and according to source reports from Reuters, Dish has been talking to the majority owner of T-Mobile — Deutsche Telekom AG — about a deal. This marks the second attempt from Dish Network to buy a large wireless operator after losing Sprint Corp to Softbank (OTC:SFTBY) earlier this year. Softbank may re-emerge as a competitor should Dish go after T-Mobile.
According to Reuters, Dish has the advantage of being based in the United States, while Softbank is Japanese owned. Anti-trust approval would therefore be far smoother for Dish than for Softbank — and would keep the wireless network within the United States. On the other hand, Sprint already has a wireless framework in place that make transition to Sprint ownership easier.
The U.S. government’s antitrust regulators have emphasized the need for at least four competitors within the wireless market in the past, and may do so again should the issue come up. The Chair of Dish, Charlie Ergen, told Reuters that he prefers to retain a flexible position in terms of the company’s place in the wireless market. He said that he would be considering partnerships with certain companies, including Sprint, and that Dish has been looking at buying up spectrum.