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Dish’s Ergen on DirecTV Satellite Merger: Still ‘Inevitable’

Dish Network
(Image credit: Dish Network)

He said it during Dish Network’s second quarter earnings all in August. And he repeated again Friday, during the company’s Q3 call, despite reports that regulators are still against it.

Charlie Ergen thinks a merger of satellite TV companies Dish and DirecTV is still “inevitable.”

Also read: Dish and DirecTV Merger ‘Inevitable,’ Ergen Says

AT&T is reported to be well into the process of unloading DirecTV for just over $15 billion, including debt, to a winning private equity bidder. 

“Don't take me as gospel on this, but that they would like to consolidate that business,” said Ergen, the Dish chairman. “And they would like to do that before they would take any regulatory risk, whether that happens or whether how they do that or whether they do that, of course remains to be seen. But make no mistake, whether it's a year from now, or 10 years from now. I believe it's inevitable those companies go together.”

The U.S. Justice Department has, since Dish and DirecTV first tried to marry in 1992, had antitrust concerns. 

Ergen believes that regulators will eventually come to understand that OTT competition from media companies will be better served a single, strong satellite operator in the market. 

“They all have their own OTT product that they compete very well with what we do. It's is in the consumers best interest that there be scale as alternative to that,” Ergen said.