The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) cleared a deal under which Dish Network will become a subsidiary of EchoStar, as part of a move by billionaire owner Charlie Ergen to reunite companies split in 2008.

The US regulator stated its Office of Engineering and Technology; Space Bureau; and Wireless Telecommunications Bureau granted the transfer of requisite licences, authorisations and special temporary authorities held by Dish Network to EchoStar.

In its public notice, the FCC stated granting the applications “will serve in the public interest”.

Terms of the deal mean Dish Network will become a wholly owned subsidiary of EchoStar, a process Bloomberg reported the companies expect to close by the year-end.

The deal buys more time for Dish Network’s cash-strapped 5G network deployment.

Reuters reported Dish Network has about $21 billion of debt, with $5 billion coming due in 2024 and 2025.

The operator issued $1.5 billion-worth of senior notes secured by its spectrum in January, stating the proceeds would go towards “general corporate purposes” including wireless infrastructure.