Could DISH Network buy Sprint? If you know the answer to that question already, you are going to be an incredibly wealthy person. The fate of Sprint and T-Mobile seem to be entwined as they continue to work out the details on their previously announced merger. All of that could be changing if the recent reporting by The Wall Street Journal (WSJ) turns out to be true.
A recent WSJ article announced that the U.S. Department of Justice notified T-Mobile and Sprint that their proposed deal would not receive regulatory approval, essentially killing the merger. If true, this would open the door for another company to merge with Sprint or T-Mobile. Many experts think that other company would be DISH Network.
The CEO’s of both companies have publicly stated that the WSJ report is inaccurate. Though neither have detailed whether it’s inaccurate because the DOJ didn’t reach out, or because they did reach out but didn’t kill the merger.
People were quick to their own judgements as evidenced by the market. The day the WSJ story came out the markets closed with Sprint and T-Mobile stock way down, and DISH Network’s stock up by almost 4 percent.
It’s not unreasonable to think that DISH would step in should the T-Mobile merger fail. According to Multichannel news, DISH chairman Charlie Ergen hinted that DISH would do just that during their last earnings call.
Analysts seem to be fairly split as to whether the Department of Justice will allow the original T-Mobile/Sprint merger to go forward. Historically, the government does not like taking a major competitor out of a major industry. After all, that’s exactly why they shut down AT&T’s effort to buy T-Mobile several months ago.
That being said, it’s also easy to see the other side of that argument. Sprint and T-Mobile argue that a merger is the only way a company can have the assets it needs to successfully implement the next-generation of wireless tech: 5G. If that’s true, it is unlikely that the government will stand directly in the way of innovation.
The truth is that no one knows whether the DOJ will approve this merger or not. It is worth keeping a close eye on this story as it develops. If the merger does fall through, that could be a major opportunity for DISH Network.