Adding to the possible dramatic outcomes of AT&T’s (NYSE:T) attempted T-Mobile deal, Dish Network’s (NASDAQ:DISH) CEO Joseph Clayton openly announced that the company is looking to diversify into mobile by teaming up with an existing wireless carrier.  Dish acquired some wireless spectrum earlier this year in a couple of deals with smaller wireless companies, DBSD North America and Terrestar Networks, and is looking to put this spectrum to use “to create a national wireless network, video, voice and data”. Dish adds another name to the list of companies to which AT&T may look to sell some of T-Mobile’s assets in order to comply with regulatory concerns.
In an earlier article, we discussed that Leap Wireless could be one of the beneficiaries of the divestitures of T-Mobile’s assets. (see AT&T’s Leap Deal May Not Be Enough to Salvage T-Mobile merger) However, we felt that that would still not address duopoly concerns as the new Leap would still be smaller than the old T-Mobile. Now, with Dish’s announcement, it seems AT&T may find another way out by creating two new smaller competitors in the place of one large carrier. Both Leap and Dish could get some of the wireless assets that AT&T would sell in a merger and become new national carriers, and this would help alleviate concerns over preserving competitive U.S. wireless market.
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In the event that the merger fails completely, Dish could partner with T-Mobile and use the expertise to roll out its own national network.  Deutsche Telekom, T-Mobile’s parent company, has made its intentions of exiting the U.S. market pretty clear, which would create a void that Dish could fill.
So in both of these cases, it looks like Dish could push further into the wireless market if it wants to.
- Dish Network Seeks to Partner With T-Mobile USA if AT&T Acquisition Fails, Bloomberg, December 13th, 2011 [↩] [↩]