US round-up: DISH plots T-Mobile bid; Centerbridge abandons LightSquared approach; AT&T reaches 488 LTE markets

19 Dec 2013

US satellite TV giant DISH Network is considering a deal for the country’s fourth largest wireless carrier, T-Mobile US, next year, Reuters reports citing unnamed sources. A DISH bid for T-Mobile could see the pay-TV firm go head-to-head with Japan’s Softbank Corp, which holds a majority stake in Sprint Corp. Earlier this year DISH attempted to derail Softbank’s takeover bid for Sprint; which is itself also reportedly considering a bid for T-Mobile. Reuters asserts that DISH does not plan to ‘sit on the sidelines’ if Sprint makes an offer for T-Mobile.

Elsewhere, private equity firm Centerbridge Partners has dropped its USD3.3 billion bid to buy bankrupt start-up LightSquared, citing ‘economic and non-economic reasons’. However, LightSquared has since suggested that it is exploring a similarly structured deal with another party. Centerbridge’s withdrawal was revealed by LightSquared lawyer earlier this week during a hearing at a Manhattan bankruptcy court.

Finally, AT&T Mobility has announced that it has launched 4G Long Term Evolution (LTE) services in twelve new markets, taking its total number of locations served up to 488. The newly activated markets are: Durango (Colorado); Elmira, New York; Appleton, Fond du Lac and Oshkosh (all Wisconsin); Kauai (Hawaii); Poplar Bluff and Sikeston (both Missouri); Pottsville (Pennsylvania); Terre Haute (Indiana), and Burley and Twin Balls (both Idaho).