The Wall Street Journal reports that satellite TV giant Dish Network tried to purchase MetroPCS before T-Mobile stepped up and bought the prepaid cellular carrier. Dish Network reportedly offered $4 billion in August report people familiar with the deal. The four billion dollar offer valued MetroPCS at $11 per share.
Dish Network would’ve paid 30% in cash and 70% in stock according to a MetroPCS SEC filing. Talks between Dish and MetroPCS fell apart in late August, and MetroPCS later announced that it was being purchased by T-Mobile USA in early October. T-Mobile buying MetroPCS meant that the fourth and fifth largest carriers in the US would be combining.
Dish Network is looking intently at entering the wireless phone market. The satellite TV provider has billions of dollars of airwave rights to spectrum to carry wireless phone signals that it has purchased since 2008. Some speculation has hinted that Dish Network might simply sell off its spectrum to turn a tidy profit.
However, the satellite provider’s serious bid for MetroPCS signals that Dish Network wants to become a wireless provider. Dish is also waiting for the FCC to decide whether it can use some of the spectrum it owns for a ground-based cellular network. The FCC is expected to approve Dish Network’s request with a caveat that the satellite provider has to restrict a portion of its airwaves to provide a barrier against interference on neighboring bands.