Dish Network, the No. 2 U.S. satellite TV company, is in merger talks with No. 4 wireless carrier T-Mobile, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing "people familiar with the matter." One of those people said the talks are in the "formative stage," with the money part still to be worked out but the structure of the combined company more or less set: Dish CEO Charlie Ergen would be chairman, T-Mobile chief executive John Legere would be CEO.
The deal, if finalized, is expected to face fewer regulatory hurdles than Sprint's aborted acquisition of T-Mobile. The merger makes sense, The Journal says, because Dish needs a broadband internet business and a use for its billions of dollars of U.S. wireless spectrum, and fast-growing T-Mobile needs to expand its wireless network.
T-Mobile's majority owner, Germany's Deutsch Telekom, has been looking to unload or merge its U.S. carrier for years. "Talks are not new, but a deal may be more imminent now," a Frankfurt trader told Reuters. "This should be seen as slightly positive for Deutsche Telekom."
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