With speculation swirling over the outcome of its yet-to-close takeover of Boost Mobile and a nationwide parcel of 800MHz spectrum, US satellite TV giant DISH Network has informed the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) of its intention to conclude the Asset Purchase Agreement (APA) by 1 July 2020. Yesterday (17 June 2020) DISH and ‘New T-Mobile’ (the entity created by the merger of Sprint and T-Mobile US) entered into the ‘First Amendment to the APA’ in which both parties agreed to close the transaction by the stipulated date.
T-Mobile’s own SEC filing supports industry speculation that the Department of Justice (DoJ) was forced to nudge the deal back on track after DISH started dragging its heels. The cellco noted: ‘On 17 June 2020, the DoJ determined that T-Mobile has complied with the requirement in the final judgement entered by a federal district court in Washington, DC on 1 April 2020 to provide DISH the ability to cross-provision any new or existing customer of the pre-paid business with a compatible handset onto the T-Mobile network. As a result, we believe all conditions to closing under the APA (other than those conditions that can only be satisfied at closing) have been satisfied and, subject to the satisfaction of the conditions that must be satisfied at closing, the closing of the “Prepaid Business Sale” will occur on 1 July 2020.’
According to TeleGeography’s GlobalComms Database, DISH Network’s USD1.4 billion acquisition of Sprint sub-brand Boost Mobile was one of the pre-conditions of the recent merger between Sprint and larger rival T-Mobile US. 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.