Google reportedly in talks with Dish Network about creating fourth U.S. carrier

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Many of the recent reports surrounding the T-Mobile-Sprint merger have suggested that Dish Network will buy assets from the two carriers and help to create a fourth competitive U.S. carrier, satisfying the Department of Justice so that it will approve the merger. But now another major company may be getting involved in the deal.

Google is reportedly in talks with Dish to create a fourth carrier in the U.S. That’s according to the New York Post, whose “sources close to the situation” say that Alphabet Board of Directors member Alan Mulally has recently been in talks with Dish about creating a carrier. “There’s no question they are talking,” a source said.

The current plan involves Google and Dish launching a new wireless carrier and network using assets acquired from T-Mobile. However, the sources add that the talks are “in flux” and could fall apart.

It’s said that T-Mobile parent company Deutsche Telekom appears to be aware of the talks between Google and Dish, as it’s recently said that it will only sell T-Mobile’s assets to Dish if no company takes more than a five percent stake in the new Dish carrier. Both Dish and the DOJ have reportedly balked at that demand, though, and T-Mo is reportedly backing away from it because of the Sprint merger and the possibility that it’ll soon gain approval.

Today’s report also claims that a Dish deal with the DOJ and T-Mobile could take at least another two to three weeks to get done, with a source saying that talks are currently “about halfway there.”

Google is a major company who has experience in the U.S. mobile market with its carrier Google Fi and its Pixel smartphones. Partnering with Google could really help jumpstart Dish’s new U.S. carrier, which is likely why Deutsche Telekom and T-Mobile are trying to limit the stake that another company can take in the new Dish carrier. We know that Dish chairman Charlie Ergen is happy to wait for what he thinks is the best deal for him, though, and so DT and T-Mobile may have to be okay with Google and Dish teaming up if they want to push the Sprint merger along.

 

UPDATE: The NY Post has updated its original report with a statement from Google. “These claims are simply false. Google is not having any conversations with Dish about creating a wireless network,” a Google spokesperson said.

Source: NY Post

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  • John Doe

    How is it any of T-Mobile’s business what Dish does or does not do with their purchased assets. Deutsche Telekom is crazy if they think the DOJ will allow them to include an illegal clause in there that goes against antitrust laws. I also do not think the FCC should give Dish any extensions on their current spectrum holdings, that would be unfair.

    • (J²)

      You just addressed your first concern with your second concern.

      I’m sure T-Mobile and DT, also agree and do not want to give assets to companies that hoard them. The unused assets will likely end up elsewhere if they remain unused.

      • John Doe

        That is not their decision or their problem. That is up to the FCC not a competitor’s wants and needs.

        • (J²)

          It’s not a want or need, it’s a legitimate concern that the FCC and DOJ appear to already be reviewing – hence the timeline for putting spectrum to use (which Dish wants to appeal)

          Dish has proven that it likes to sit on a stockpile of assets and spectrum.

          While it may not be there decision, they do have input. It can easily become there problem if the FCC and DOJ continue to let these companies do whatever the heck they want.

          Just saying…

        • John Doe

          Again, that has NOTHING to do with the merger between Sprint and T-Mobile and selling them their assets. And no a competitor should not be involved at all in any decision the FCC makes especially when they are much bigger considering that Dish is miniscule compared to what T-Mobile and sprint will become. What Dish does or does not do with their purchased spectrum is something they will have to deal with and resolve with the FCC.

        • (J²)

          AGAIN… This has A LOT to do with the merger between T-Mobile and Sprint which is why Dish, Google, and a dozen other companies have insert their 2 centers and had hearings and etc.

          This is ACTUALLY how the system works. Have you not been present through this entire ordeal and previous mergers as well?

          The FCC’s job is to determine what’s in the best interest of consumers and the public, which may align with whats in the best interest of competitors – other corporations.

          The DOJ’s job is to drill down further and determine if there are any anti-trust concerns or any valid reasons to challenge the merger further (and possibly in court as well).

          During this process, the agencies do take the input of the parties involved, possibly affected parties, corporations/agencies, and consumers…

          You can DISAGREE as much as you’d like but these are the FACTS. You can have your own OPINION but there’s no need to go back and forth solely on the basis of whether you agree or not… There’s a lot I do not agree with…

          I do personally believe, everyone including competitors should be heard. Competitors that are directly involved, should have some input. If these agencies were to actually enforce stipulations, then maybe I could agree with you but they do not.

          We as consumers are the ones who suffer and deal with it in the end… Not these agencies…

        • John Doe

          I am not disagreeing with what you said. I AM SAYING THAT T-MOBILE DOES NOT HAVE THE RIGHT TO DICTATE RULES THAT ARE IN THE PURVIEW OF THE FCC.

        • (J²)

          BUT IT DOES…….

          OF COURSE, IT IS UP TO THE FCC AND DOJ TO ACCEPT OR REJECT THEM

          How hard is it to accept that this is how negotiations work and should work?

          These agencies aren’t here to do the negotiating on the companies behalf…

          ¯_(ツ)_/¯

        • John Doe

          Exactly, so T-Mobile should not be demanding things in the sale or else the DOJ can tell them to go kick rocks.

        • (J²)

          Right, just as long as it’s clear that this is of no surprise lol

    • marque2

      First it is -Tmobiles business because the part of the company is being forcibly removed from T-mobile – this isn’t some voluntary transaction. Oh I will just give away some of the company so you can destroy me by teaming up with Google.

      Second, if it were a private transaction – if T-mobile wanted to sell Boost to Dish anyway, yes they could make it part of the sales stipulation that Dish can’t do certain things for X number of years. This isn’t against anti-trust laws. Not sure where you got that.

      As for your third concern, agreed, not just Dish, but cable companies all over the country have purchased spectrum just to sit on it, while real wireless companies have trouble providing data because of lack of spectrum. They should use it or lose it per the original purchase agreements.

      • John Doe

        First- It is not forced, this is something T-Mobile voluntarily agreed to sell to get the FCC’s approval for the merger. They are not forced to do anything they can just walk away and call the merger off. All of this is voluntary.

        Second- No they cannot do that since they are a competitor having a clause that may stifle competition is in the purview of antitrust laws like saying you can’t let anyone invest more than 5% in your company like T-Mobile was trying to do which means they do not want Dish to grow and compete with them which is, you guessed it, is against anti-trust laws.

  • Jay Holm

    This merger is taking too long, it’s going to get to the point that there won’t be new smartphones with both companies integrated spectrum in one phone until 2nd quarter next year, sheez. . .

  • vrm

    If Google teams with Dish AND gets some spectrum plus 30,000 towers, within a few years, they can offer better wireless than all the other carriers. However, if they cannot own more than 5% of the said carrier, they will not invest any money and likely not even “team” with Dish.
    With huge amounts of cash, if Google gets its hand on spectrum and some towers, they can steamroll even Verizon and at&t. IF they can own the new co otherwise, they are happy with FI.

    • Jose Mendoza

      I’d like a new carrier if they did because competition is good, but we all know that they don’t give a crap but offering us the bare minimum so we don’t leave them lol

  • Google has very recently denied these reports (see article on CordCuttersNews).

  • George B

    There was a potential win-win-win deal before Google got involved. T-Mobile buys Sprint to get Sprint’s 2.5 GHz licenses and lease agreements and they pay off Sprint debt in exchange for eliminating a low cost competitor. New T-Mobile spins off Sprint’s 4G network hardware, 800 MHz licenses, and part of their 1.9 GHz licenses to Dish who instantly gets more cellular network than they’ve ever built on their own, but not enough to be a strong competitor. T-Mobile agrees to use it’s market power to get phone manufacturers to include Dish and former Sprint cellular frequencies for bands 25, 26, 29, 66, 70, and 71 in phones T-Mobile puts on their network. Mostly just wider SAW filters. Since no devices are available for band 70 because nobody expects Dish to actually build a network, T-Mobile lobbies for Dish to get an extension on deploying Band 70 and signs a short term roaming agreement with Dish to help them get started. Dish then adds base stations for Dish frequencies to the white elephant former Sprint network to meet the build out requirements to keep licenses, but because they have less spectrum and less interest in building a network than Sprint had, they put less downward pressure on the prices New T-Mobile can charge. T-Mobile gets higher margins and lots of spectrum, Sprint gets out of a debt hole, and Dish solves their build out problem on the cheap by starting with Sprint’s already built 4G network minus 2.5 GHz.

  • Mike McDonald

    Looks like this will go down to the last minute at the July 29 deadline. Beginning to think our German friends are going to have the last say and I’m thinking Herr Hoettges will tell his US people to walk away from the deal.

  • Mike McDonald

    Umm, anyone notice TMUS share price is up over 4.5% at this time (1:49 ET)? Not seeing any official news but obviously there’s some smoke somewhere and traders are coming in.

  • Phil

    Google is evil