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There are unconfirmed reports that Charlie Ergen’s DISH Network is in merger talks with cellular giant T-Mobile. The Wall Street Journal is running the story saying Ergen would become Chairman of the enlarged group, while T-Mobile’s chief executive John Legere would be CEO.
Dish is declining to comment. However, the WSJ says the deal discussions are in a “formative” basis.
The deal could make perfect sense for both layers. Ergen has acquired billions of dollars-worth of cellular spectrum without – apparently – any immediate need for the bandwidth.
On the debit side of any discussions is the fact that Ergen likes to stay independent, and previous ‘merger’ talks over the years have come to naught.
If a deal does proceed, it would mean that both of the USA’s satellite players could come under the control of broader telecoms players (AT&T looking to own DirecTV (subject to regulatory approval, and now T-Mobile’s play for DISH).