Charter, Altice, Dish Circle T-Mobile-Sprint Assets if Divested

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Charter, Altice and Dish are near the top of the Department of Justice’s list of buyers for assets it would want T-Mobile and Sprint to divest, as a condition for approving their proposed merger, reports Bloomberg.

The attorneys general for ten states are fighting to block the deal in court, Inside Towers reported. And though the FCC has indicated it will approve the deal, the DOJ is still scrutinizing the transaction.

Selling some of the telecom’s wireless spectrum licenses along with Sprint’s Boost Mobile brand could get T-Mobile and Sprint the DOJ’s approval by providing enough resources for another national competitor to form, according to Bloomberg. The DOJ would want the companies to sell another prepaid brand in addition to Boost — possibly Virgin Mobile or MetroPCS.

If cablecos Charter or Altice purchased a wireless spectrum license or prepaid brand, they’d be in a position to build a competitive wireless carrier to restore a fourth player to the market as virtual network operators. Altice already uses Sprint’s network.

Last week, Dish Network Corp executives met with the Justice Department’s antitrust chief Makan Delrahim and FCC Ajit Pai as part of the government’s review of the deal. Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen was among the executives who attended the meeting and the company discussed Dish’s opposition to the deal as currently structured, reported Reuters.

June 18, 2019

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