Today's merger rumblings: Dish Network and T-Mobile are in talks to merge, sources tell the Wall Street Journal. Though details, including a purchase price, have yet to be finalized, the companies agree that Dish CEO Charlie Ergen would be chairman of the combined company, while T-Mobile CEO John Legere would be the new company's CEO. The deal comes amid similar ones, like AT&T-DirecTV and Charter-Time Warner-Bright House Networks. So why should you care?
- If you're a Dish customer: The deal would give Dish a "robust broadband Internet" offering, always a good thing for a TV company in this day and age. It would also hand Dish the cellular network it needs to use its billions of dollars worth of wireless licenses. The merger "makes perfect sense," an analyst tells USA Today, because without it, "T-Mobile and Dish were in danger of becoming the lone single-service providers left in the market, with everyone else combining TV, broadband, and wireless."
- If you're a T-Mobile customer: The company is still no match for AT&T or Verizon in terms of size, but its capacity would jump thanks to the aforementioned wireless licenses. The analyst continues: "T-Mobile has a growing subscriber base and network but not enough spectrum, while Dish has lots of spectrum and no network, so their assets are very complementary."
- Even if you're not a customer of either company: re/code offers up a pleasantly colloquial explainer that calls the deal "akin to two people who hook up because they are the last ones left in the bar at closing time," which is worth a read even if you're not usually into mergers & acquisitions.
The deal is still far from a sure thing, but the Journal
doesn't see a big fight from regulators, "because the companies are in different industries and because a deal could in theory create a stronger wireless competitor." (More Dish Network