T-Mobile and Sprint will reportedly extend merger deadline as negotiations with Dish continue

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T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish Network have been talking in recent weeks, trying to hammer out a deal that would see T-Mo and Sprint sell assets to Dish in order to gain Justice Department approval for their merger. Today reports have come out that give us an update on how those talks are going.

Negotiations between T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish continue to haggle over the finer points of their deal which would turn Dish into a fourth major U.S. carrier, satisfying the Justice Department so that it will approve the T-Mobile-Sprint merger. Sources speaking to both the Wall Street Journal and Reuters say that T-Mobile and Sprint plan to extend their merger deadline beyond its July 29th to get the deal done, which would be the second time such an extension happens.

Despite the deadline extension and the ongoing talks, it’s said that all parties involved are optimistic that a deal will eventually be reached.

It’s reported that T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish have mostly agreed to a broad deal that would include the sale of spectrum and prepaid customers to Dish as well as allowing Dish to use the new T-Mobile’s coverage while it builds out its own network. However, the three parites are still discussing some of the finer aspects of the deal. T-Mobile and parent company Deutsche Telekom want to prevent Dish from selling a huge part of its network to another major technology company, such as Google, and they’ve also discussed placing restrictions on how much Dish can use the new T-Mo’s network.

We’ve heard much of this info from other leaks in recent weeks, but today’s report does let us know that negotiations continue and that everyone involved is optimistic that a deal will eventually get done. It’s been said that Dish chairman Charlie Ergen is happy to wait for what he thinks the right deal for him, and so that could be the reason that the negotiations between T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish are dragging on.

It’s unclear when T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish might reach an agreement, but if T-Mo and Sprint are planning to extend their deal’s deadline beyond July 29th, the carriers could be thinking that they’ve got a little longer to go before an agreement is made.

Sources: WSJ, Reuters

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  • Jay Holm

    Big eye roll. . .

  • Fabian Cortez

    It’s been said that Dish chairman Charlie Ergen is happy to wait for what he thinks the right deal for him, and so that could be the reason that the negotiations between T-Mobile, Sprint, and Dish are dragging on.

    Charlie is playing with Sprint and T-Mobile. He knows they are desperately trying to merge and that time is on his side.

    Two outcomes here: 1) No merger. 2) Charlie makes out like a bandit.

    • marque2

      Does he have time on his side? Isn’t he about to lose some very expensive spectrum?

      • Fabian Cortez

        Does he have time on his side? Isn’t he about to lose some very expensive spectrum?

        Yes, time on his side. More time than Sprint and T-Mobile have with respect to this merger.

        And as of February 2019, Dish insists that it is on schedule to cover 70% of its licensed territory with narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) by March 2020.

        • SirStephenH

          “As of February 2019, Dish insists that it is on schedule to cover 70% of its licensed territory with narrowband Internet of Things (NB-IoT) by March 2020.”

          Yeah…we all know that’s BS and it’s highly questionable whether narrow band meets the FCC’s requirements.

    • John Doe

      The only thing that is keeping him from leaving the deal is that T-Mobile can just find another buyer like Amazon or Google or even Apple then he would lose a lot but I think DT does not want someone with deep pockets that will invest heavily and compete with them nationally.

  • AA-Ron

    wtf is the hold up?

    • SirStephenH

      Likely T-Mobile doesn’t want to give up a significant portion of its post-merger spectrum in order to get the merger approved so it’s trying to make a deal that it’s willing to accept itself.

      • AA-Ron

        Thats a good point. Im just pissed that they are being forced to give up assets to merge. The whole point of a merger is to keep what you have and add onto it.

    • George B

      I believe that T-Mobile wants 1) Sprint’s 2.5 GHz licenses and spectrum leases and 2) to move up to being a full price competitor to Verizon and AT&T. They’re willing to pay above market price for Sprint’s spectrum so long as they eliminate Sprint and it’s downward pressure on prices. Regulators and consumers would prefer that Sprint continued to exist as a competitor to help keep prices down, but then there’s no incentive for T-Mobile to pay enough extra to dig Sprint out of debt. The role of Dish is to get regulatory approval by creating a potential 4th cellular competitor without creating an actual competitor that would prevent T-Mobile from moving up to the full price club. If Dish was ever going to build a cellular network, they would have done it by now.

      The potential solution is for T-Mobile to get Sprint’s 2.5 GHz licenses and leases plus some 1.9 GHz licenses and spin off the already built Sprint 4G network plus the Nextel related 800 MHz and PCS block G licenses to Dish. T-Mobile doesn’t want or need Sprint’s existing network hardware, but it would help Dish meet it’s build out requirements while leaving Dish an even weaker competitor than Sprint was. T-Mobile could sweeten the deal by throwing in licenses for small chunks of spectrum and some limited time roaming agreement to help Dish get started.

  • Casey Grim

    WTF at this rate if the merger was to be approved it wouldn’t happen as I see it until the beginning of 2020.

    • SirStephenH

      They still have court cases to go through after this deal is made. It’s said that even if they finalized a deal right now it’ll be the end of 2019 to the beginning of 2020 till the merger is completed.

  • Kevin

    Get some popcorn and watch the show.

  • John Doe

    By the Time they approve this deal, 5G will be everywhere by then and the whole reason for the merger will be moot lol