T-Mobile And Dish Network Discuss Potential Merger

Satellite TV provider Dish Network is reportedly in talks with T-Mobile, the fourth largest wireless carrier in the U.S., about merging. While nothing is yet imminent, the two sides have already agreed on a power structure that would have Dish chief Charlie Ergen becoming chairman and T-Mobile boss John Legere taking the reins as CEO.

The bigger challenge is figuring out how much to value the deal and then breaking down the purchase price in a mix of cash and stock. T-Mobile's market capitalization sits at around $31 billion, while Dish Network, the second largest satellite TV provider in the U.S., is worth about $33 billion. It's not clear which company would be buying the other.

Dish Network

Both T-Mobile and Dish Network have a recent history of not completing high-profile deals. T-Mobile's parent company Deutsche Telekom, which owns a 66 percent stake, has been trying unsuccessfully for years to either merge or sell the wireless provider. Likewise, Dish tried and failed to make a deal with Sprint and Clearwire two years ago.

Should the two sides ultimately complete a deal, it would be yet another multi-billion merger between wireless communication and television industries. 
AT&T, the second largest wireless provider in the U.S., is close to completing a buyout of DirecTV for nearly $49 billion. Meanwhile, Charter Communications is attempting to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks for a combined $67 billion, a deal that would make it the second largest U.S. cable operator.

On the flip side, if a deal between T-Mobile and Dish Network isn't completed, they risk eventually becoming the only standalone companies in their respective industries.