Rumors are spreading that T-Mobile is in talks to merge with Dish Network. First reported by the Wall Street Journal, it’s said the “two sides are in close agreement,” about the state of the two businesses should a merger go ahead, and outspoken T-Mobile CEO will possibly take on the role of joint CEO. Dish Network’s CEO Charlie Ergen would become company chairman.
It’s the latest in a string of rumors regarding the future of T-Mobile. It has previously been linked with AT&T and Sprint, but neither deal came to fruition. Dish Network has also been looking to enter the mobile world for some time, and it has also looked at acquiring Sprint in the past. In fact, way back in 2011, Dish also spoke out about an interest in acquiring T-Mobile.
According to the WSJ report, the T-Mobile/Dish Network deal is far from being final. It refers to the talks as “formative,” and no agreements have been made regarding the price and whether stock or cash would be used to pay. It also warns the two may not agree to merge at all. Sources speaking to CNNMoney confirm the talks are ongoing.
A Bloomberg report says it was Dish’s Charlie Ergen that instigated the talks, after contacting Deutsche Telekom about purchasing T-Mobile USA in September last year, apparently with the intention of making use of its bandwidth allocation, worth an estimated $50 billion.
During a recent earnings call, T-Mobile’s John Legere made several comments regarding mobile networks and cable companies merging in the future, although he didn’t mention Dish, or T-Mobile’s own plans. However, he has taken to Twitter in an effort to shoot down rumors of the merger, calling a Recode piece on the situation a, “snarky, sensational and shallow look at a rumor that deserves no comment.”
— John Legere (@JohnLegere) June 4, 2015
All is not clear though. In another tweet, he replies only with a smiley face in reply to a complementary message about him running an entertainment company, suggesting the rumors aren’t entirely without substance.
At this time, there is no indication when a deal between T-Mobile and Dish Network may be struck, if at all.