Three months after Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen declared that the next generation will watch TV on mobile devices, his satcaster is talking about a link-up with a big provider of such services. The Wall Street Journal reported tonight that Dish is in “formative stage” merger talks with T-Mobile US, the Germany-based telecom giant’s stateside unit that boasts about 57 million subscribers.
WSJ quoted sources as saying Ergen would be chairman of the merged company and that T-Mobile US President and CEO John Legere would be its chief executive. It gave no details on purchase price or terms, though, and noted that a deal might not be worked out. But any pact between the country’s No. 2 satellite TV provider and No. 4 wireless carrier likely would be enormous. While still far behind industry leaders AT&T and Verizon, T-Mobile has been adding subs at an unmatched rate during the past several quarters.
The merger rustlings come on the heels of T-Mobile rival AT&T agreeing to acquire Dish nemesis DirecTV for $48.5 billion. That proposal remains in the hands of federal regulators.