Dish’s Ergen said to be taking his time with T-Mobile assets deal as four states join lawsuit to block merger

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Just when some reports suggested that T-Mobile and Sprint may be close to striking an asset deal with Dish Network and getting DOJ approval, new info claims that Dish isn’t actually all that close to a deal with T-Mo.

Dish co-founder Charlie Ergen is said to be weeks, if not months, away from agreeing to a deal to buy assets from T-Mobile and Sprint. Some rumors said recently that Ergen was close to paying $6 billion for Boost Mobile and wireless spectrum, a move that would help T-Mo and Sprint get approval for their merger from the Department of Justice. However, a source tells the New York Post that Ergen is “a deal guy” and that “the best deal for him will come when everyone else is spent.”

As a result of Ergen taking his time with this deal, those in the DOJ antitrust division are reportedly suggesting that it’s far from certain that the T-Mobile-Sprint merger will get DOJ approval in the coming days as some rumors have suggested.

It’s said that T-Mobile and Sprint do plan to try and auction Boost Mobile to other buyers if the Dish deal falls through. Goldman Sachs, the investment bank that’s advising T-Mobile on the Sprint merger, is now preparing sale books for Boost Mobile and is said to be “some days” away from distributing them to interested parties.

The DOJ reportedly wants T-Mobile and Sprint to create a fourth competitive U.S. carrier before it’ll approve their merger. Dish seems to be one of the best candidates to meet the DOJ’s request, as it’s already got its own spectrum that could be used along with assets from T-Mo and Sprint to create a new wireless carrier. It could also help Dish as the company is facing pressure from the FCC to use its spectrum or be penalized. However, Dish’s Ergen seems content to wait out a deal with T-Mo and Sprint until it’s better for him.

In other merger news, four states have joined the lawsuit against T-Mobile and Sprint’s deal. Hawaii, Massachusetts, Minnesota, and Nevada have joined 10 other state attorneys general in a lawsuit that aims to block the proposed merger, saying it would lessen competition and raise prices for consumers. October 7th has been proposed as the date for the start of the trial.

Sources: NY Post, Reuters

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  • Ver

    Fu*k Ergen and the DOJ! Gees, how many ways can they tell T-Mobile to bend over? The whole thing is starting to suck big.

    • Ummon

      Starting? This has been sucking for about half a year too long. What a cluster f the DOJ is.

      • Ver

        Agreed! I’m so annoyed with this.

        • Sayahh

          Either approve it or disapprove it. Taking the time to do it right isn’t a bad idea, though, but it is annyoing.

  • Robert Roll

    starting to look like one of those deals that T-Mobile should just walk away from. Should just get Sprint to sell off there 2.5Ghz spectrum to T-Mobile and lease back to them what they need Sprint would get a cash boost and should Sprint go under spectrum ownership reverts back to T-Mobile. Ergen must be thinking the longer this takes the more desperate they will become.

    • Fabian Cortez

      starting to look like one of those deals that T-Mobile should just walk
      away from. Should just get Sprint to sell off there 2.5Ghz spectrum to
      T-Mobile and lease back to them what they need Sprint would get a cash
      boost and should Sprint go under spectrum ownership reverts back to
      T-Mobile. Ergen must be thinking the longer this takes the more
      desperate they will become.

      This sounds good to me. Better than this awful merger.

  • Erik

    Why would there be States wanting to block the merger? If the merge does not happen, then what? Sure, there will be 4 carriers. But not for long. Sprint is just losing ground out there to where it’s going to just be bankrupt and disappear. Now there is only 3 major carriers now. Gee, what is the whiwh purpose of blocking the merge, if the final results is ending with 3 major carriers? On top of that, with Sprint going under, there goes all the jobs. And they will have the blockers to thank for that one.

    • Nearmsp

      Sprint is majority owned by Japanese Soft Bank. T-mobile is majority owned by German Deutsche Telecom. There is no reason, Sprint would be bough at a bargain by an Australian, Spanish or Indian telecom company. Chyrsler was bought by Italian owned Fiat Company when it was close to bankruptcy. Earlier German owned Daimler Benz owned it. This argument to create duopolies/monopolies by saying jobs will be lost really does not hold much water. Mr. Son of Soft Bank needs a smart CEO like Mr. Legere. Sprint is a poorly managed company with poor customer service. A good product at a good price will always sell well.

    • Harlimus

      if you notice, it’s the democrats that are blocking this. they are obviously bought and paid for.

  • i really hope T-Mobile doesn’t walk away from this and fights, because they’re 0bviously being bullied…… i’m sick of Verizon and Att getting nearly everything they want without anybody batting an eye. but when T-Mobile decides it would like to become bigger and actually be on equal footing to actually compete, they have to go through all of this struggle

  • randian

    I assume Ergen is taking his time because he wants government action to lower the price of the assets he wants to buy. He wants the merger blocked because he hopes to force Sprint to sell its assets cheap to stave off bankruptcy.

  • JG

    Hey John Legere

    I’ll buy Boost & as much spectrum as you need to get rid of…

    Though I can’t afford anywhere close to the $6 billion your gonna get from Dish (or whoever)… Instead, I’ll set T-Mobile up with exclusive roaming rights to my new network and waive any and all roaming fees… Your customers will be able to connect to my network and use as much data as they want… Just like they were still on the T-Mobile network…

    At the end of, say, 3 years or so, we can re-evaluate… If it turns out I’m not cut out to be Boost’s CEO I’ll sell it and my spectrum back to you… In exchange for a “small” amount of T-Mobile shares, a life time fully comp’ed truly unlimited, never throttled, always prioritized plan I can add as many phones, tablets, watches and other IoT devices to… And maybe splicing my house into your fiber backbone… Oh, and adding my home area to your “Upgrade these places first” list…