Dish Network, T-Mobile US kick off merger talks again

Dish Network and T-Mobile US, a subsidiary of Deutsche Telekom, are in talks to combine their businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported.

Dish Network is the second-largest satellite TV operator in the United States, while T-Mobile US is the fourth-largest wireless carrier.

The latest development in the U.S. wireless market indicates the appetite for merging TV and telecom businesses. For instance, AT&T, one of the rivals of T-Mobile US, is close to buying Dish competitor DirecTV for $49 billion. Charter Communications will be acquiring larger rival Time Warner Cable in a deal valued at $56 billion. Comcast was also ready to buy Time Warner Cable for a lower amount.

Deutsche Telekom has been trying to strengthen its U.S. telecom business after failing to sell it last year. Last year, Deutsche Telekom tried to sell T-Mobile to Sprint but the No.3 U.S. carrier dropped its bid after regulatory resistance. French operator Iliad SA also abandoned its attempt to buy T-Mobile US last October.

Wall Street Journal reported that the two sides have agreed that T-Mobile CEO John Legere would become the CEO and Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen would become the chairman of the combined company.

The report does not indicate the size of the deal. T-Mobile has a market capitalization of about $31 billion, while Dish Network’s is around $33 billion.

Dish and T-Mobile US have previously floated the possibility of a deal. Ergen said earlier this year he was impressed by T-Mobile US, while Legere said it made sense for T-Mobile US to team up with Dish Network, Reuters reported.

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