WSJ: Dish approaching banks to get $15B funding for T-Mobile deal


Following up on its exclusive report from earlier this week, the Wall Street Journal has published an article claiming that Dish Networks is in talks with banks to secure cash funding for what looks to be a primarily stock-based deal with T-Mobile. According to its sources, Dish is looking to borrow between $10B-$15B:

“Dish is considering borrowing between $10 billion and $15 billion for the cash portion of a bid that would primarily be comprised of its stock, according to people familiar with the matter. The two sides are discussing a deal that would leave Deutsche Telekom AG, which controls T-Mobile, with a big minority stake in a combined company, the people said.”

Dish Networks has been seen as a natural partner for T-Mobile for some time now. Although sketchy rumors recently reported that Deutsche Telekom wouldn’t be interested in a deal, a merger with Dish could be a good thing for T-Mo and American consumers in general. Dish holds a lot of AWS-3 spectrum – or will do once cleared – following the auction late last year. It’s a big enough company to compliment T-Mobile, and more than likely won’t find any resistance from the FCC or DoJ over anti-competitive concerns.

But, before we get ahead of ourselves, it’s worth noting that any discussions and considerations from any of the parties involved are still in their infancy. Even WSJ’s sources have spoken with caution, stating that this deal is nowhere near the finish line and might not even happen. But if it does go through, it’s speculated that it would leave Deutsche Telekom – T-Mobile’s current majority stakeholder – with around 27% of the combined company (it currently owns 67% of T-Mobile US).

Whatever happens in the end, one thing is sure, we should brace ourselves for weeks, possibly months more of speculation, rumor-spinning and opinions on this potential deal. What do you make of it? Would you like to see Dish and T-Mo combine?

Source: Wall Street Journal

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  • Adrayven

    yuck… I swore I’d never go back to Dish.. now they are trying to come to me.. they are like parasites.. their contracts suck (2 years) and their support doesn’t understand english..

    Oh yea, thats a GREAT idea.. NOT.. I like the spectrum, but I REALLY don’t like the company. I will leave if it becomes real and gets approved. Thats a promise.

    • Melissa Cardenas

      pfft everyone has different experiences i had no problems with dish and everyone i spoke over the phone always speaked Perfect english , now on time warner its a whole different story i have a problem call customer service always get someone with a thick accent and sometimes hard to understand.

      • Adrayven

        ” everyone i spoke over the phone always speaked Perfect english”


        • thepanttherlady

          You know what she meant.

        • mreveryphone

          They’re vultures lol

        • Android_God

          After reading your above post, you are the LAST person that should be criticizing.

      • Mike Palomba

        I have time Warner cable and despite the fact that they sometimes have an accent, I can understand them, and they fix my issue very quickly. Plus, I get 300Mbs Internet and phone for a fraction of what FIOS wanted to charge for it

    • EndlessIke

      I’ll say this for them – Sling TV is an absolutely great product. They are trying to innovate.

      • Adrayven

        They bought sling, an existing product. they didn’t make it. Thats what they do.

        • archerian

          ‘Sling’ is not the same as ‘Sling TV’, one is a device, the other is a streaming service with several channel options, and perhaps the best international channel service.

        • John Doe

          Also “sling” is made by Echostar which makes satellites for Dish and it is owned by Charles Ergen who is the CEO of Dish. Dish and Echostar were that same company and now they are really close.

          “Ergen owns 52 per cent of Dish and Echostar shares and holds 88 percent of its total voting power.”

    • gmo8492

      What makes you think dish won’t change? This will likely benefit dish more than it would T-Mobile. If John Legere becomes CEO of both companies then we may see contracts go away and offer better subscription options with dish.

    • Mike Palomba

      You never know, it could be a good thing. You should stay for a while if it gets approved and see if you’re happy with the result rather then leaving without giving it a chance

    • GinaDee

      That would be a mistake. I say you should keep your grandfathered unlimited data plan while you can because they won’t last forever. Think before you jump ship.

      Is DISH so detrimental to your life that you’d leave a service that works really well and is only going to get better?

      DISH has the spectrum and capacity that will deliver HD streaming TV to your mobile device no matter where you are.

      Stick it out. You’ll regret leaving for an expensive metered plan somewhere else.

      • Thomas

        Hey then again the CEO/T-Mobile themselves are so eager to keep the Truely Unlimited Data deal flowing. Just because Sprint might talk about getting rid of Truely Unlimited Data, does not necessarily mean that T-Mobile will end up falling suit also.

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      You don’t “have to get a contract” when you sign up with dish. They offer that because its very expensive to install their equipment, and rather than charge you for doing that they will cover those costs for you if you commit to them for 2 years. Expecting otherwise is like expecting a cell carrier to give you a free phone and not require a contract

  • Android_God

    We had Dish for years and enjoyed it. We switched over to Xfinity due to their better DVR technology. If this goes through and they offer a killer deal, we may end up going back.

  • Tmo82

    I would like to see this deal go through as long as the combined company drops the Dish brand and keeps the T-Mobile brand and leadership.

    • Carey

      I like your idea!

  • ” J.D. “

    WOW ! Been with T-Mobile over 7yr’s had dish & liked it but I couldn’t get through the tree line at the time / However that’s changed now so if this merger goes through it’s back to Dish most definitely 2 room dvr here I come ! !

  • Luis Espinal

    I just want TMO to take advantage of all that yummy spectrum from DiSH! Does anyone know how expansive the pre auction licenses DISH holds in the 1900 H, and AWS-4. I’m curious to know how much of the country is served and if its contiguous with current TMO AWS-1 and their new AWS-3. Would Dish spectrum make Tmo a more dense network where it holds these licenses. I’m also wondering if Dish has any low band…

  • Joe Block

    is it me, or this website filled with bullshit ads, freaking screen moves every 3 seconds.

    • Mike Palomba

      It is, if you’re on a phone it’s not terrible, on the desktop though, it’s really really bad.

      • lion7718

        Adblock Plus is your friend.

        • BillSmitty

          Yep, annoying as heck, so rarely visit anymore. Too bad… I know they need them for revs, but the moving part is absolutely horrendous.

    • Chazz Matthews

      I never see ads. My smartphone is rooted and I run Adaway. On my PC, I run AdBlock.

  • Jason Crumbley

    So, Dish would basically only own 40% of T-Mobile, after Deutsche (27%) and whoever (33%).

    • turtle6988

      MetroPCS owns the other 33%

      • Carey

        Metro is T-Mobile, there is no Metro any more, it’s just a brand (TMO employee)

  • Guest

    How does Dish’s spectrum help Tmobile? From what I’ve read and experience on their network my service is pretty good but indoor sucks. I know they have 700mhz in some places but not all. Is more aws spectrum really what we need?

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      Not at the moment, but as subscribers and data consumption grow it will certainly be needed in the future

  • lomsha

    I don’t know if it would be good or bad, but I do have both so that could be a benefit.


    Here we go again! Same bullshit different day!

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      It’s a little bit different now that there is substance behind the rumors (Dish approaching banks to finance such a deal)

  • Duces are Wild

    DISH has made it very clear in the past that the majority of the spectrum they have, they will use for OTT services. Not to expand an existing carriers coverage.

    • Stefan Naumowicz

      Companies never change their mind about their plans for the future?

    • gmo8492

      Dish must be lying through their teeth, no way they’re going to use all that spectrum. It would be stupid not to set aside a considerable amount for T-mobile since they are ranking in a million subscribers per quarter.

  • BillSmitty

    DT has wanted to sell for years, so let’s get on with it. I know little about Dish, but sounds like this merger makes a lot of sense. If it turns out badly, I’ll just go somewhere else as much as I like Tmo the last 13 years. Loyalty nowadays is mostly gone for companies and consumers.

  • TK – Indy

    It is interesting in these deals to watch the employees of the acquired (minority) company, in this case, T-mobile. While executive management is usually well taken care of, there is always a bullet point about reducing costs due to synergies – which translates to laying off workers. Just the threat of this can destroy morale and motivation. It will be tough for T-mobile to stay on top of their game during this uncertain period.

    • brownsbacker

      That is true, but considering they are different industries there shouldn’t be much overlap in the stores. Office personnel will be affected more.

  • Garblicks

    I don’t see a down side. John isn’t going anywhere and he’s gonna have control over both satellite and wireless. Customers should be happy far and wide. Just watch as John give the big 2 a run for their money!

  • Raiterio Patterson

    Close your eyes and think about the break up deal if this merger doesn’t pan out…ahhhhh. Anybody remember what happened when the FCC shot down the AT&T merger ?

  • Dark enV

    I honestly can’t see much of a downside for either company for this. Dish would certainly benefit from having John Legere as CEO. He’s already changed so much in the wireless market, maybe he’d be the one to finally bring real a la carte satellite TV finally. Plus all the spectrum Dish has stocked up would bulk up T-Mobile’s network. Heck with Sling TV maybe they’d make a deal that would allow T-Mobile customers to stream on their phones for free or something, who knows. The TV industry is getting out of hand. My parents have DirecTV and their bill is $120 for two TVs and only one with DVR. If they signed up with Dish it’d be cheaper for the first year but would go right back up the 2nd year. Something in the TV industry needs to change and Legere could really fix another stupid, broken industry and help out the consumers. But I can’t see much of a downside here and I don’t see a reason why the FCC would block this. They’re allowing DirecTV and AT&T to merge which will make them even more dominant in the TV industry, Dish needs something big to help them take on this behemoth and I think Legere and T-Mobile could be exactly what they need to do it.

    • TechHog

      Legere would not become CEO. Dish would be the controlling party, not T-Mobile.

      • Jonathan

        No sorry you’re wrong John Legere will become CEO of both companies. Reread again and start paying close attention to what has been said about this talk between Dish and T-Mobile having Charlie Ergen step down as chairman, while John Legere will officially become CEO. Where have you been hiding out at? Wake up please.

        • DISH SUCKS

          You need to wake up. You T-Mobile fanatics need to quit spinning the story around to what you think will happen. John Legere will be CEO of both companies, but Charles Ergen will remain Chairman of both. It’s DISH buying T-mobile not the other way around. Charles Ergen is the majority stock holder of DISH and co founder of DISH. DISH will be the majority stock holder of T-mobile ass well.

        • Dark enV

          But here’s the difference, T-Mobile is popular right now and Legere is popular. Dish knows this and they know that can be an advantage for them to have Legere as CEO which is why it would happen plus early reports have all stated Legere would be CEO while Ergen would be a chairman. I don’t think Dish is dumb enough to ignore how popular Legere is amongst consumers

      • John Doe

        “But if it does go through, it’s speculated that it would leave Deutsche Telekom – T-Mobile’s current majority stakeholder – with around 27% of the combined company (it currently owns 67% of T-Mobile US).”

        I am sure you can do math.

  • Aurizen

    Would be awesome if Leger took over and moved Dish away from satellite to fiber haha. And made use of Dish unused spectrum. thats a tall order… Unlikely and expensive..

  • frankinnoho

    Many this time it’s real!

  • Chris

    This one makes sense only because it’s expanding the range of services for the new company and T-Mobile could eventually make use of the spectrum Dish bought up. Not sure of Dish requires a contract or not but I can see some uncarrier moves coming to Dish to shake up the industry like T-Mobile has done to benefit almost everyone after other carriers had to match.
    I’m also interested if there might be some discounts on SlingTV for T-Mobile subscribers or even Dish TV itself.

  • Brad

    It doesn’t do much to solve T-mobile’s coverage problem in less densely populated areas. Which I think is their biggest current problem. From what I have seen Dish only has like 6 MHZ of low band spectrum in most of the country. Not much 700MHZ LTE capacity could be deployed on that.

    • TechHog

      Still miles better than what we have now.

      • Brad

        TMO is currently deploying 700 in areas where they have 10MHZ of license. An additional 6 MHZ would help if they could use it all as a down link but in populated areas this amount of spectrum for in building penetration benefits will quickly be overwhelmed by data demand. In areas where T-MO doesn’t already have 10 MHZ the 6 MHZ seems like it would cost more to deploy than it would be worth.

        • vrm

          this is why I think it is better to add more cells using band 2 and 4. Dense it up everywhere- don’t have to rely on costly auctions and its entirely in your control. At $200k, you can get 25000 new (full) sites for only $5b .

        • dtam

          the network is already showing signs of being constrained. you’re not getting the same speeds as before.

  • TechHog

    After that Comcast rumor, I’m begging for this to happen. However, if the Comcast rumor is true, DT will reject the deal no matter what. :(

    • Katie

      Well guess what? Duetsche Telekom is in talks with a possible T-Mobile sell to Comcast right now my Dear friend.

      • TechHog


  • williejackbrainer

    I think it’s still to early in the process for me to form a opinion. However, the only thing I would be concerned about is spectrum (building penetration).

  • Austin

    The way I see it: T-Mobile and Dish are underdogs in their market. They are each trying to be super-competitive and lead a crusade to change the market. T-Mobile has their Un-carrier initiatives, Dish has Hopper, built in Sling, and Sling TV. They would be strong working together. On a spectrum perspective, more spectrum (hopefully used right) would only be beneficial. I can see promos, deals, bundling, enhanced features. All to create change and be competitive.

  • hermit

    Any one else think the dishes that will be sitting on however many million homes might make for interesting options for small cell rollouts and network densification efforts for TMO?

    • williejackbrainer

      Could be a possibility, but to early to say….

    • Jay Holm

      Dude, that is a frinkin awesome idea!!!

  • brad

    On further reflection this deal could be awful. We would have a combined company with $50+ billion in debt and little cash with lots of capital outlay requirements to keep DISH licenses. All of this coming together just in time to compete in the 600MHZ auction. This could be a disaster for T-MOs network progress. Sounds like a formula for T-MO to end up with an elite network in patchy areas. (hey that’s what we got now)

    • Jonathan

      Lets just wait and see. I dont see it to be an awful disaster. I seriously do think that this deal will be beneficial in some other ways in some areas needing capacity. Lets not get way too carried away with it failing okay? Good.

  • It’s Me

    Tmobile /Dish Network Dish Network /Tmobile.

    Drop T and add the Network.

    The Mobile Network.

    Future of Mobile and Television services

    • No

      • Dylan Aarhus

        Yes sad to say it but I think it will be beneficial for the deal to go down to if tmobile merges with dish that would be fantastic Internet and tv bundles without contracts would make the consumer more happy and there goes att and Verizon fios

  • Vontae Everton

    Does anyone know how the map will look if T-Mobile and dish get approved

  • Jay Holm

    So how much AWA-3 spectrum would be combined with T-mobile and Dish? Hmm, this could be interesting!

  • ronjon400

    will there be pink dishes on the roofs?

    • Luther


  • gadget_hero

    I still think T-Mobile would be better off merging with US Cellular and making a deal for spectrum with CSpire. That will pretty much get them coast to coast A block 700MHz, plus more PCS for Band 2 LTE / legacy HSPA+ freeing up AWS for wider band LTE (in constrained markets). Consolidate and save for the 600MHz auctions!

  • #SayNoToTheKangaroo

    If both parties accept, this will be the apocalypse.

  • Luther

    Considering the 600 auction is/will/might be the last of the low band spectrum, I think it would be better if T-Mobile focused on getting there hands on as much of that as they possibly can first. I was venomously against the whole Sprint/T-Mobile merger/buyout for to many reasons to get into here, but I do like the possibilities that could come from a Dish/T-mobile merger. I just think that right now the #1 priority for T-Mobile should be obtaining as much low band spectrum as possible. My 2 cents anyway.

  • edfranco1

    I wonder If Dish takes a big chunk of T-Mobile, will they start forcing price increases by these greedy ceo’s? I just feel that a merger is good for progress but bad for the consumers pockets. I beet this is why Verizon and At&t aren’t really doing much about competing price wise. They already know that something like this will be demanded by this merger.