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Dish Network’s Ergen: FCC Decision Factor In T-Mobile Deal

August 5, 2015 - Written By John Anon

The last few months has seen much talk about T-Mobile ad Dish Network. The talk of course, surrounds a high-profile merger between the two companies. One that was initially expected to be a win-win type of deal for both companies. That said, since the initial rumor of the talks between the two surfaced, it has increasingly seen unlikely that an sort of deal would materialize. While analysts suggested a lack of a deal would be due to the deal not being beneficial to either company, as much as people may think. “People close to the matter” then came out and said that the deal had stuttered thanks to Dish not being able to meet the demands in a timely fashion. At the same time, the same people then went on to suggest if a deal does not happen very soon, it will not happen at all.

Well, from the other side of the fence, Dish Chairman and CEO, Charlie Ergen, has been talking on the company’s earnings call and revealed that the likelihood (or not) of a deal might not be exactly in their hands. Ergen noted that the FCC’s recent indications that they were likely to deny bidding discounts which had been used in part to secure its massive spectrum stockpile at the previous auction would be a deciding factor in whether a T-Mobile/Dish deal went through or not.

According to Ergen, “From our perspective, the discount was the most complicating factor,” further adding, that if the FCC do deny the discounts, then it seems unlikely that they would be able to progress with the T-Mobile deal. If this does prove to be the case, then Ergen suggested that Dish would likely turn to looking for a way to lease or sell their spectrum, although he added that this option is “not in our heart where we wanted to go“. As such, in terms of the Dish and T-Mobile proposed deal, it seems it is far more likely to be in the hands of the FCC for now. Of course, that is as long as the time pressures of the next upcoming spectrum auction does not play a deciding factor of its own.