DISH, T-Mobile USA talk merger

Michelle Clancy
| 05 June 2015

DISH and T-Mobile USA are in merger talks — lending yet more momentum to US communications sector consolidation.

Sources told the Wall Street Journal that DISH CEO Charlie Ergen would become the company's chairman and his T-Mobile counterpart, John Legere, will become CEO. But, the talks are still at "the formative stage".

T-Mobile has a market capitalisation of about $31 billion, a little below Dish's $33 billion, so the deal would likely be very large.

The deal would combine the country's second largest satellite TV operator with the No 4 wireless carrier. T-Mobile has about 44.7 million retail customers, which includes mainstream and pre-paid customers. Dish has 13.8 million satellite TV customers and 591,000 Internet subscribers.

Ergen has been vocal about launching a wireless service that could carry video; T-Mobile's assets would address this. Also, Deutsche Telekom owns 66% of T-Mobile and has been looking for years to either sell the company or merge it with another; failed attempts include tie-us with Sprint and AT&T.