Dish Network CEO Charlie Ergen is reportedly in talks with Deutsche Telekom to acquire T-Mobile U.S.
There is no formal offer yet, but Ergen is planning to make one by November after selling its wireless airwaves unit. The American direct-broadcast satellite service provider is also yet to hire a bank to guide it in price negotiation, according to Bloomberg's sources.
Sources added that this is not the first time that Dish has considered the buyout as it had meetings with Deutsche Telekom in the past. The plan just became stronger now after the deal with Sprint was cancelled. Dish wanted to acquire T-Mobile to expand its business to mobile video, or bring cable TV to smartphones and other devices.
Both spokespersons for Dish and T-Mobile refused to comment on the said deal.
Dish is not the only company interested in the acquisition. French telecom provider Iliad is reportedly planning to increase its offer to acquire T-Mobile, but is setting limits on their budget. Last month, Iliad offered Deutsche Telekom $15 billion worth of cash, or $33 per share, to acquire more than half of T-Mobile's shares. However, the latter rejected the offer because it was expecting at least $35 per share. Iliad is reportedly in talks with different private equity firms and companies that want to be part of their acquisition deal with T-Mobile.
Meanwhile, analysts believe that a Dish-T-Mobile merger will not encounter difficulties, unlike the cancelled Sprint deal. The previous deal faced opposition from regulators who believed that it will hurt the competition.
It is still uncertain if Dish will really go for T-Mobile. The Wall Street Journal reported last month that Ergen is also eyeing a partnership with Sprint.
"You have to have a lot of respect for what T-Mobile's done ... I think Sprint is capable of much, much more," Ergen told the Wall Street Journal.