Sprint-T-Mobile Merger Collapse Opens Door for DISH as Possible Partner

**Editor’s Note: Please click here for a recap of the biggest channel-impacting mergers in Q2 2014.**

Might this finally be DISH Network’s opening?

Long interested in an acquisition to become a major player in the wireless space, DISH Network might have its opportunity now that Sprint has given up its pursuit of a merger with T-Mobile USA.

Sprint cited regulatory concerns as a major reason for pulling its bid for T-Mobile on Tuesday night.

“Indeed, the list of possible partners is an intriguing one, including DISH – which owns a treasure trove of unused wireless spectrum plus video customers and connections – as well as a handful of cable operators that would bring much the same focus and many of those same assets to the deal,” noted 451 Research VP Declan Lonergan, commenting specifically on a Reuters article. “Overall, whatever Iliad’s chances of doing the deal were last Friday, they just went up a notch or two.”

Lonergan is referring to a $16 billion bid for 56 percent of T-Mobile that French telecommunications company Iliad reportedly made last week. Iliad is now said to be scrambling to make a higher-valued bid. Reuters said that Iliad is talking with DISH, Cox Communications and Charter Communications to make a joint bid for T-Mobile, which is America’s fourth-largest wireless operator.

DISH has previously made offers to buy Sprint, Clearwire and other major players but has come up empty. 

Follow senior online managing editor @Craig_Galbraith on Twitter.

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