Although T-Mobile and Sprint got the green light from the FCC for their merger, the carriers haven’t received the U.S. Department of Justice’s (DOJ) blessing. Now, T-Mobile is reportedly in talks with Dish Network that could make it a new wireless provider and alleviate the DOJ’s concerns about the T-Mobile/Sprint merger being anti-competitive for the market.
As shared by CNBC‘s sources close to the matter, T-Mobile’s parent company, Deutsche Telekom, is in the midst of working out a deal with both Dish and the DOJ that would make the former a legitimate wireless competitor in the U.S.:
The German telecommunications company that will control a combined T-Mobile/Sprint is in talks with both Dish Network and the DOJ on the parameters of a divestiture and spectrum-hosting agreement that will prop up Dish as a new U.S. wireless competitor. Deutsche Telekom, Dish, and the DOJ are close to an agreement, and a deal could be finalized by next week, according to people familiar with the matter.
The DOJ reportedly has some specific requirements for the Dish Network deal that go beyond what Deutsche Telekom was hoping for:
The DOJ wants Deutsche Telekom to give Dish unlimited access to its network, said the people, who asked not to be named because the discussions are private. T-Mobile has pushed back, arguing Dish should only be given access to 12.5% of the network’s capacity.
The deal could include T-Mobile/Sprint sharing its network with Dish for up to seven years, at which point Dish would need to switch to operating from its own network. Other aspects of the deal between Deutsche Telekom and Dish are said to include the latter acquiring Boost Mobile and additional wireless spectrum as well as signing a revenue-sharing agreement.
This deal with Dish could be finalized by next week but will need to be approved by the California Public Utilities Commission in addition to the DOJ. Even if T-Mobile and Sprint can make it over the DOJ hurdle with this Dish deal, there are still 14 state attorneys general suing to block the merger.