The future of DISH Network is inextricably tied to the outcome of the Sprint/T-Mobile merger. While the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has given its stamp of approval, several states have banded together to sue against the merger. Up until recently, Colorado was one of those states. That is until DISH Network convinced the state to drop the lawsuit.
DISH Network has been based out of Colorado for many years, and was quick to use their influence to help convince the state to allow the Sprint and T-Mobile merger to go through. DISH promised that they would build the headquarters for their new wireless service in Colorado. This would provide the state with thousands of new jobs.
In addition to building their wireless headquarters in the state, DISH also agreed that Colorado would be one of the first states to get access to their 5G service when it launches. That was enough to convince the powers that be in Colorado and the state’s Attorney General’s Office announced in late October that the state would be withdrawing their lawsuit.
Mississippi was the first state to drop its lawsuit and Colorado makes two. However, it’s still not enough to ensure that the Sprint/T-Mobile merger goes through. Several states are still actively suing with a trial date tentatively set for early December.
DISH chairman Charlie Ergen released a statement about this recent settlement with Colorado. “Today’s settlement with Colorado positions DISH, a company founded in Colorado, to make a transformative impact on the wireless market,” said Ergen. “This will strengthen competition for millions of current and future customers across America while bringing to life the nation’s first virtualized standalone 5G broadband network.
Chief Deputy Attorney General Natalie Hanlon Leh gave a statement from the Colorado perspective. “The agreements we are announcing today address those concerns by guaranteeing jobs in Colorado, a statewide buildout of a fast 5G network that will especially benefit rural communities, and low-cost mobile plans,” said Leh. “Our announcement today ensures Coloradans will benefit from Dish’s success as a nationwide wireless competitor.”
If the T-Mobile/Sprint merger does go through then DISH Network will find itself in the position of becoming the third-largest wireless carrier in the country almost overnight. Colorado dropping its lawsuit puts that dream one step closer towards becoming a reality.