June 14, 2019
By David Shepardson
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Dish Network Corp executives met this week with the U.S. Justice Department’s antitrust chief Makan Delrahim and Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai on the government’s review of the proposed $26.5 billion tie-up of wireless carriers T-Mobile USA and Sprint Corp.
A federal filing on Friday revealed Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen was among the executives who attended the meeting Tuesday and the firm “discussed its opposition to the proposed merger of Sprint and T-Mobile as currently constructed.” Dish also “explained the need for a minimum of four nationwide mobile network operators.”
Pai agreed last month to support the merger in part because the firms agreed to divest the prepaid service Boost Mobile, while the Justice Department review continues.
Ten state attorneys general led by New York and California sued the companies and parent firms SoftBank Group Corp and Deutsche Telekom AG, warning that consumer prices will jump due to reduced competition.
(Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Susan Thomas)