United States

Dish’s Charlie Ergen might have been the key to T-Mobile’s Sprint acquisition

A federal judge’s surprising approval of T-Mobile’s $26 billion acquisition of Sprint on Tuesday may be thanks to Dish Network Chairman Charlie Ergen and his behind-the-scenes deal making. Ergen, the mercurial billionaire who controls Dish, appears to have played a pivotal role in convincing US Judge Victor Marrero that the satellite TV giant can create a viable wireless carrier to replace Sprint with a little help from his friends, court documents show. Ergen on Dec. 17 testified that he was in talks with a strategic partner to help build a network to compete with Verizon, AT&T and the newly beefed up T-Mobile, court records show. He declined to name names in open session, but gave details to the judge behind closed doors. In hi ...