DISH Network’s USD1.4 billion acquisition of Sprint sub-brand Boost Mobile – one of the pre-conditions of the recent merger between Sprint and larger rival T-Mobile US – has yet to close, with Bloomberg reporting that there are still significant hurdles in the negotiations between DISH and T-Mobile. A key sticking point appears to be the lack of immediate access to T-Mobile’s network, with the news agency quoting DISH boss Charlie Ergen as saying: ‘We don’t necessarily want to put people in the Sprint network and then have to go back and switch them later.’
Meanwhile, Fox Business has reported that DISH has baulked at the previously agreed asking price, with an unnamed T-Mobile source noting: ‘[DISH is] extremely hard to work with and not living up to their end of the bargain’. Such is the state of the relationship between the two parties, a rival bidder – backed by a ‘major private equity firm’ – has emerged, with a view to launching a new buyout bid.
The Boost deal was agreed in July 2019 alongside a USD3.6 billion sale of 800MHz Sprint spectrum. DISH expects to transition from an MVNO to an MNO by 2022.