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Google, DISH considering US wireless tie-up, report says

8 Jul 2019

Internet giant Google is in talks with satellite firm DISH Network over the latter’s plans to enter the US mobile market, the New York Post reports, citing sources close to the situation. As per the article, the negotiations are being spearheaded by Alan Mulally, a former chief executive at Ford Motor, who currently serves as a director at Google parent company Alphabet.

Last week it was reported that T-Mobile US and Sprint had agreed a deal to divest selected wireless assets to DISH Network, in order to secure antitrust approval for their long-running USD26 billion merger. The transaction is expected to include Sprint’s pre-paid brand, Boost Mobile, alongside an unconfirmed quantity of wireless spectrum. Interestingly, one of the potential caveats applied to the agreement by T-Mobile will limit any future strategic investor in DISH to a 5% stake – a stipulation that may yet thwart Google’s interest in a tie-up.

Last month, DISH boss Charlie Ergen won over Federal Communications Commission (FCC) chairman Ajit Pai and Department of Justice (DoJ) antitrust chief Makan Delrahim by arguing that there was a ‘need for a minimum of four nationwide mobile network operators’ to maintain a healthy level of competition in the US wireless sector.

United States, DISH Network (incl. DISH Wireless, Project Genesis), Google (Alphabet), Sprint Corporation (became part of T-Mobile US), T-Mobile US, Virgin Mobile USA

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