For Dish Network, it is "Speak Now, or Forever Hold Your Peace"

If you buy the argument that the most logical buyer of Dish Network spectrum is Verizon Communications, then it would have crossed your mind that if Verizon wanted to acquire those assets, the time to do so might be before Dish Network has purchased T-Mobile US.

U.S. regulators would in all likelihood not allow Verizon to acquire a Dish Network that owned T-Mobile US. On the other hand, many would argue Verizon does not want to increase its debt profile, as it is paying down borrowing for the purchase of the Vodafone stake in Verizon Wireless.

Of course, some might see a remedy: a sale of Verizon Communications landline assets, in a big deal, to Altice, which is buying U.S fixed network assets. Okay, that is a lot of moving parts. And it is hard to see to whom Verizon would, in turn, spin off the legacy Dish Network assets.

Verizon is not a believer in the linear video business in the long term, and the company cultures would clash. Verizon arguably would have been more interesting in Dish Network video assets 10 years ago, before thinking about prospects for over the top streaming had changed so much.

So some of us would be surprised, indeed, were Verizon to purchase Dish Network. A more logical scenario, if the fixed network business were divested, is that Verizon would use the liquidity to acquire spectrum the old-fashioned way, in an auction.

Dish Network likely would not want to divest the spectrum assets that now largely define the value of the whole company.
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