AT&T eyeing Dish?

Shares in US digital satellite operator Dish Network rose sharply following a suggestion by financial services group Credit Suisse that telco  AT&T may make a bid to buy the company.

Credit Suisse analyst Jonathan Chaplin said in a note that AT&T could be interested in Dish’s wireless spectrum assets.  He said these make Dish an appealing buyout candidate to any phone carrier, because consumers increasingly want video and broadband from the same provider.

Any such deal would allow AT&T to gain customers and increase their loyalty, according to Chaplin. AT&T is trying to build its U-verse TV and Internet service to lift sales, with customers cutting home phone services amid intensifying wireless competition.

“What AT&T believes, I think, is if you bundle Dish and AT&T wireless on a national basis, that would reduce churn for all products and potentially drive penetration,” said Chaplin.

Neither Dish Network nor AT&T wished to comment on the suggestion.

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