Apparently Dish was not the only option on the table recently when it came for T-Mobile and Sprint to find a buyer for Boost Mobile and other assets they would divest to gain approval for their deal. Reuters has reported that Charter Communications also submitted a proposal to the DoJ as well.
However, it seems Charter never got a response and the DoJ went with Dish, which has agreed to potentially spend $5B on a prepaid business plus spectrum. It’s not clear they didn’t get a call back, but Charter is apparently nonplussed that there wasn’t an auction process to participate in.
The cable operator is already operating Spectrum Mobile over Verizon’s network, which puts them further down the path of becoming #4 than Dish is a this point. Perhaps they made the approach too late, since while deadlines could be pushed back I think everyone involved is pretty much done with this whole process.
Dish has to use the spectrum it has by March 2020 to keep it, making this something of a ‘fish or cut bait’ moment for them. Regulators are said to be ready to agree to the T-Mobile/Sprint merger in light of the Dish deal, but the fat lady hasn’t quite sung yet. Maybe tomorrow, maybe Monday. Or maybe just later this morning, who knows.
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