Advanced Television

Ergen in Court over wireless merger plan

December 19, 2019

By Chris Forrester

Charlie Ergen made an appearance in a Manhattan Federal Court on December 18th and faced tough questioning in regard to his plans to launch a US-wide wireless service provider.

California’s Deputy Attorney General Paula Blizzard had travelled to New York to question Ergen and accused him of having a long history of broken promises in his quest to assemble wireless spectrum and launch a network based on Sprint assets.

“Despite telling the FCC in 2012 that you plan to enter the wireless market for American consumers … as we sit here today, that network does not exist, correct?” Blizzard asked.

Ergen confirmed to the Court that he was 100 per cent ready and that $10 billion of funding was in place.

The US Department of Justice approved the T-Mobile/Sprint merger in July. The FCC approved the merger in October after T-Mobile and Sprint agreed to sell assets to Dish to help Ergen create a fourth wireless network.

Blizzard was joined by New York’s Attorney General Letitia James who is also objecting to the Ergen plan, and argued that the Ergen scheme would lessen competition and see price hikes for consumers.

Categories: Articles, M&A, Policy, Regulation