Verizon Communications (NYSE: VZ) has no interest in buying Dish Network (NASDAQ: DISH), according to Verizon CFO Fran Shammo.
When asked at a Wall Street Journal conference if Verizon had any interest in Dish, Shammo said, "My answer is going to be one word: No."
Some analysts have speculated Verizon might want to snag Dish to get control of the company's trove of wireless spectrum. However, Shammo noted that if Verizon wanted more spectrum, it could have bought more during the AWS-3 auction.
As it stands, Verizon spent $10.4 billion to win a total of 181 licenses in the AWS-3 auction covering 192 million POPs, or around 60 percent of the population. Dish's designated entity partners bid a total of $13.3 billion but that figure will get knocked down to $10 billion if the FCC approves a 25 percent discount for the entities.
Verizon has said it now has a combination of at least 40 MHz of AWS-1 or AWS-3 spectrum in 92 of the top 100 U.S. markets, which will help the carrier meet capacity needs as more traffic shifts to its LTE network. Verizon is also looking to expand its small cell and distributed antenna system (DAS) deployments to enhance capacity.
Meanwhile, Dish is reportedly in talks with banks to line up between $10 billion and $15 billion of debt financing for the cash portion of a transaction to acquire T-Mobile US (NYSE:TMUS). According to the Journal, Dish and T-Mobile are talking about a deal that would leave T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom with a minority stake in the combined company.
As the Journal notes, Verizon could always change its mind on Dish. Verizon CEO Lowell McAdam said earlier this year the carrier wasn't looking to buy AOL after rumors surfaced the companies were in talks. The companies had been discussing possible partnerships but in May Verizon struck a $4.4 billion deal to acquire AOL, mainly for its advertising technology platforms.
A deal between Verizon and Dish would not make too much sense, given that Verizon has been steadily building components for a mobile-first over-the-top video service of its own that will compete in some respects with Dish's Sling TV product. Verizon plans to launch its service this summer.
- see this WSJ article (sub. req.)
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