The decision by Sprint to drop out of the running for T-Mobile US might have opened the door for Dish Network, according to comments made by the satellite TV broadcaster’s chairman Charlie Ergen.
“The Sprint announcement probably increased some optionality that we had,” he said on a conference call.
“A lot has happened in the last 24 hours — we haven’t had the chance to sit down, and we remain interested in working to enhance our overall business, and that could include looking at a number of companies out there,” added Ergen.
His comments were reported by Bloomberg.
Ergen also commented that any kind of deal was unlikely before the US spectrum auction in November.
Dish, of course, was interested in buying Sprint last year before losing out to SoftBank.
Iliad has also been linked to talks with Dish – as well as cable operators – in a bid to beef up its bid.
Meanwhile parent Deutsche Telekom is clearly unimpressed with the offer on the table for T-Mobile US from Iliad.
“We’ve always said that we’re open to transactions which increase the value,” said Timotheus Hottges, CEO of the German incumbent on a conference call to discuss Q2 results, but swiped “we don’t have such an offer at this point.”
Hottges also talked up the US business’ ability to grow organically.
In addition, he argued regulators should support smaller operators in the US, given the sheer market power of AT&T and Verizon Wireless.
If consolidation is not allowed then some kind of assistance for smaller operators was needed, he said.
His comments were reported by The Wall Street Journal.
Iliad is weighing whether to freshen up its $15 billion current bid for T-Mobile US, according to reports. Other bidders could now come into the picture, including Dish Network. .