Charlie Ergen speaks on DirecTV merger possibility


Dish NetworkThe Dish Chairman isn’t ruling out a merger with DirecTV and supporting a new, national wireless broadband network. Ergen was asked about it in his quarterly conference call and said the two satellite providers may consider it but are yet to hold formal discussions.

Ergen tried to merge the companies 10 years ago, but regulators rejected the deal. However, the rising economic power of television program owners, and the explosion in video distribution online, may change the equation enough for regulators to approve the tie-up today, Ergen predicted.

“If the deal makes sense, they approve it. If it doesn’t, they put conditions on it to make it make sense. Or if it really doesn’t make sense, then they just don’t approve it,” Ergen said. “My personal opinion is this is probably a doable deal no matter who the administration is, under certain circumstances.”

The combination of DirecTV, with its 20 million subscribers, and Dish Network’s 14 million subscribers could become a solid foundation for selling the wireless broadband network Dish has invested nearly $4 billion in building so far, noted The Denver Business Journal.