Dish CEO Charlie Ergen Talks Challenges To Potential T-Mobile Merger

The sign in the lobby of the corporate headquarters of Dish Network is seen in the Denver suburb of Englewood

Rumors of a Dish Network, T-Mobile tie-up never seem to go away but a new sound bite from Dish CEO Charlie Ergen might quell some of those rumors. As Dish Network posted their second-quarter financial results, there’s plenty of lingering conversation about how Dish will break into the wireless space. When the topic finally turned to a potential T-Mobile tie-up, Ergen stated that any deal with T-Mobile “may be a challenge we wouldn’t feel comfortable taking on.”

Ergen didn’t elaborate on his remarks, but did mention that a tie-up with Sprint, a company he attempted to acquire a few months ago may be “an interesting fit.” Ergen didn’t account for how any deal with Sprint would work now that SoftBank owns a majority share of the Kansas City-based wireless carrier.

“They basically won an asset that we’d like to have,” Ergen said of SoftBank. “We gave our best shot to get it. And sometimes, your best isn’t enough, but their best was better than ours. Well, I like those kind of people, right? I like people that are better than us. I want to hire people that are better than us, and I’d like to work with people that are better than us.”

The reality is that Dish has already approached Deutsche Telekom in the past so I’m not sure exactly what “challenges” outside of potential technology related issues Ergen could be referring to. However, Dish remains one of the largest independent standing entities that could be in the running for a T-Mobile deal, merger or otherwise.

Will Dish approach Deutsche Telekom one more time? Investors sure think so but Ergen’s comments may have us pressing pause on any future T-Mobile/Dish tie-up rumors.



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