T-Mobile May Merge With Dish Network. There Goes Its Underdog Status.
Another week, another potential telecom merger. This time, the interested parties are Dish Network and T-Mobile US, which the Wall Street Journal reports are in early talks to consolidate their satellite TV and wireless holdings. Were the two to join forces, the Journal says Dish CEO Charlie Ergen would become the new entity's chairman, while the colorful, somewhat erratic John Legere would serve as chief executive. No purchase price or other financial terms have been reported so far, and sources tell the Journal that the discussions could still very well fall through.
Lately, even new multibillion dollar telecom merger proposals have started to feel like old news. It was only a few weeks ago that Charter Communications said it would buy Time Warner Cable for $55 billion. That followed the sudden collapse of Comcast's own yearlong bid for Time Warner Cable in late April, as regulators signaled they were unlikely to let the deal go through. AT&T continues to pursue a $48 billion takeover of DirecTV that would make it the nation's largest TV distributor. And in mid-May, Verizon announced plans to buy AOL for some $4.4 billion. It all kind of makes you wonder: What telecom company hasn't tried to go the merger route yet? (For more on that, see this excellent graphic the Journal put together last month on the last two decades' worth of pay-TV mergers.)