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Dish, T-Mobile Merger Would Combine Media and Networks

June 11, 2015 - Written By Alexander Maxham

There’s been a lot of talk lately about Dish and T-Mobile possibly in talks for merging. Dish has been acquiring spectrum for a few years now and have been looking to get into wireless as well. Dish has tried to buy T-Mobile before, and also Sprint, but those both fell through. We heard recently from Deutsche Telekom’s CEO, the company that owns T-Mobile USA, that he is not interested in Dish buying the company. And is waiting for Sprint to come back around. That might be a while, as the current FCC is not going to allow Sprint to buy T-Mobile.

Recently we’ve seen networks and media companies converging. There’s the Comcast and NBC deal, then also the AT&T and DirecTV deal that is in front of the FCC as we speak. There’s also Verizon looking to launch their own video service. So by T-Mobile and Dish merging, it would be following the trend of the industry. Something T-Mobile CEO, John Legere doesn’t do typically. It’s worth noting that Dish’s CEO, Charlie Ergen doesn’t play well with others, particularly. However, Ergen is very smart and runs his business quite well. Probably a big reason why he wants Legere on his side. Think of the things he could accomplish with Dish’s spectrum and wallet.

For those unaware, Dish owns Sling and the recently announced Sling TV. Which basically allows you to stream select cable channels over a data connection. Whether that be on your smartphone, tablet, TV, or another connected device. Which could bring in some net neutrality questions, especially if T-Mobile launched a service like Music Freedom for Sling TV. Which is what Netflix is afraid of. All of their competitors are joining forces with networks, which gives them a huge leg up on Netflix.

Dish and T-Mobile have about the same amount of spectrum – kinda surprising huh? Since T-Mobile has nearly 56 million customers on theirs and Dish has 0. If they were to combine, the combined company would have more spectrum per MHz than all the other carriers, and have about 23% market share on spectrum, compared to AT&T at 22% and Verizon at 17%. However, Sprint would still have more spectrum, at 33%.