AT&T-Dish deal chatter revived

If there is a report circulating that AT&T (NYSE:T) may consider acquiring Dish Network, then it must be Wednesday... or Thursday... or...

For months, the industry has been debating what to do about its spectrum shortage, and many eyes have been on spectrum-rich satellite TV provider Dish Network. Would Dish sell some spectrum? Would another service provider acquire Dish? 

Well, the acquisition rumors are back, and they're suggesting that Dish's erstwhile potential suitor AT&T might be considering a deal. Bloomberg broke that report earlier this week, also noting that AT&T should be prepared to pay a bundle. Yes, when everyone is screaming that they need more spectrum is exactly the time you don't want to be paying for more spectrum.

No surprise that AT&T is being mentioned now as a candidate to buy Dish, considering it just withdrew from its proposed T-Mobile USA and is viewed as being more desperate for spectrum than Verizon Wireless (NYSE:VZ), which made its own spectrum deal with major cable TV companies. If AT&T doesn't want to over-pay for spectrum, maybe it should craft a similar deal with Dish or another spectrum owner.

This is not the first time AT&T has been mentioned as a potential mate for Dish, of course. Deal rumors have circulated at various times going back at least five years. There also have been recent suggestions that AT&T could find a spectrum mate with a smaller wireless carrier, such as MetroPCS or Leap Wireless.

Meanwhile, AT&T also is involved in a war of words with the Federal Communications Commission over the FCC's rules for the incentive spectrum auction, according to FierceWireless.

For more:
- see this eWeek post
- read this FierceWireless report

Related articles:
The Great Spectrum Chase of 2012 is well underway
Remember the first time AT&T was rumored to be interested in Dish?

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