Dish Network May Set Sights on T-Mobile as Next Acquisition Target - Page 2

T-Mobile is also planning to start selling the Sony Xperia Z and the Nokia 925 around the same time, but those products have already been announced. A T-Mobile branded Android phone is also expected to be announced around this time.

Meanwhile, T-Mobile and MetroPCS are consolidating their operations. MetroPCS customers get GSM phones with Evolved High-Speed Packet Access (HSPA+) and LTE as they upgrade their devices. T-Mobile is reporting net subscriber growth for the first time in a couple of years and a decline in overall subscribers as a result of the aborted merger with AT&T.

It also appears as if the new T-Mobile subscriber plans are changing the way the mobile industry charges for wireless service with lower and even non-contract rate plans starting to show up at other carriers.

With all of this going on, would Deutsche Telekom actually consider selling its T-Mobile stock to Dish? The obvious turnaround of T-Mobile’s fortunes mean that the company is almost certainly worth more than the $16 billion in estimated value at the time of the initial approach by Dish. AT&T offered $39 billion a few years ago. And even though they're in the minority, those MetroPCS shareholders that got TMUS in the deal will have a say, even if it's to try to enforce the DT promise.

But shareholder or management opposition may not be enough to stop Dish from attempting to push through a purchase of T-Mobile, any more than it discouraged Dish from trying to force through a merger with Sprint. But it does raise one significant concern, and that’s the damage that such an attempt could cause to T-Mobile. The failed merger with AT&T kept T-Mobile from growing for nearly four years. Another hostile merger battle, this time with Dish, could be worse.

During the time that T-Mobile was involved with AT&T and its regulatory issues, not only did T-Mobile's growth stall, but the turmoil also stymied the company's ability to expand its network, its device selection and its growth in the business marketplace. It's only now beginning to recover. But another prolonged hostile buyout battle could not only halt that new growth yet again; it could ultimately be a fatal blow.

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash

Wayne Rash is a freelance writer and editor with a 35 year history covering technology. He’s a frequent speaker on business, technology issues and enterprise computing. He covers Washington and...