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Report: Dish, T-Mobile Talks Hit Snag

Merger talks between Dish Network and wireless carrier T-Mobile have apparently hit a snag around structure and valuation, according to a report by Bloomberg, a move that is further complicated by upcoming wireless spectrum auctions.

According to Bloomberg, Dish and T-Mobile parent Deutsche Telekom would have to work out those differences in the next two-to-three months, in order to be ready for the upcoming incentive auction for spectrum slated for the first quarter of 2016.  According to Federal Communications Commission anti-collusion regulations, neither party would be able to speak to each other while the auction was in process. It is that deadline that has caused Bloomberg to speculate, according to its unnamed sources, that a deal is unlikely.

The impasse appears to have halted what was a whirlwind few months for the companies. In early June The Wall Street Journal reported that the two were in preliminary talks and had agreed to some broad structural issues – mainly that Dish chairman Charlie Ergen and T-Mobile CEO John Legere would retain those roles in the combined company. But the two were said at the time to be far apart on price. Later that month reports surfaced that Dish was attempting to line up between $10 billion and $15 billion for a T-Mobile bid.

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