updated 01:14 pm EST, Wed November 13, 2013
Dish's Ergen says he won't rule out a T-Mobile buy
Dish Network chairman Charlie Ergen has said that his company is still open to the possibility of buying T-Mobile, the United States' fourth-largest wireless carrier. Bloomberg reported on Wednesday that the Dish chairman was still interested in inserting the satellite television provider into the American wireless market. Despite the company's failed bid to buy Sprint earlier this year, Ergen says it is intent on getting into the carrier business.
Dish has long expressed its openness to acquiring or being acquired by other companies, as the firm views its current position as one in which growth could be difficult. The company was stymied in its efforts to buy Sprint this year by a stronger offer from Japanese wireless giant SoftBank.
T-Mobile, meanwhile, has already been pegged as a potential acquisition target for several companies, including both Sprint and Dish Network. The carrier has seen something of a turnaround of recent, adding 1.1 million subscribers in the most recent quarter, thanks in large part to its focus on unconventional service offerings and branding.
For Dish Network, acquiring a wireless provider would engender assorted synergies, creating an entity largely unlike any other that exists on the market. Dish already has a wide library of video content offerings that it could make available to potential wireless customers, and its home television content service would lead to a full-spectrum entertainment arm that would not be easily matched by any current wireless carriers.
Ergen acknowledged as much in saying that Dish is intent on pursuing the acquisition of a physical network in order to use the stockpile of spectrum it has amassed. He also reiterated the company's openness to not only buying a company, but to selling itself or merging with another.
"I don't ever rule out anything," Ergen said. "I think acquiring a company, selling our company, merging, partnering -- those are all on the table."