The thing is, Dish cannot be talking to any other company that is participating in the current FCC spectrum auction. If anything is imminent, it's with a non-wireless company. If it's with a wireless company, it's not imminent.
I still think it is Verizon who will buy only because it is rumored they want to buy a "cable company." A rumore designed to throw people off the scent, IMHO. Charter, now Spectrum, is debt loaded and not likely to be allowed an even bigger merger than the one just yesterday. IMHO, T-Mobile does not need all the Dish assets and those being transferred from Echo to Dish, and I do think it would be purchase too rich for T-Mobile, but not for Verizon. T-Mobile would likely be happy just to buy SlingTV, but not all of Dish. Further, Dish has everything Verizon DESPERATELY needs to stay compeitive with the other 800lb. gorilla wireless company AT&T. Most interesting will be the price--whoever--pays for Dish.
Let's remember that T-Mobile could "merge" with Dish, little money would need to be exchanged. If it was a buy TMO has DT to bankroll it, plus money is cheap to borrow now, arguably a better deal than using cash on hand. The spectrum Dish owns is worth more than Dish itself, spectrum that TMO could easily integrate into their existing network. Getting Sling would give TMO the on-line programming they need. They could package up the sat end of it and sell that if they so desire. But I think there are advantages in keeping it just so they could bundle sat and wireless together (like AT&T).
We'll have to wait until the spectrum auction is over to see if any deals pop up.
to answer the question that the OP asked, last month at CES, the CEO of T-Mobile John Legere predicted 8 things for 2017 and one of those things would be Dish would be scooped up by another company thus starting the T-Mobile buying out Dish rumors.
and then earlier this week, Dish and EchoStar (the former parent company of Dish which Dish spun off of) made a deal to transfer the EcoStar's Hardware and software delevopment group which are responsible of the DVRs that Dish uses incuding the Hopper series whole-home server DVR system and their Joey client systems, the national and regional uplink business (which turned out that EchoStar still control post Dish spin off), the fiber backhaul network serving all US DMAs and the OTT delevopment group, 10% stake of SlingTV held by EchoStar, the wireless spectrum licenses that covered 4 markets in the 28 GHz band and certain real estate properties to Dish in exchange for Dish's 80% ecomomic intrest in Huges Retail Group that is held in the form of tracking stock. Dish will still continue to market satellite internet to rural customers under the DishNET branding, according to the press release Dish released on Tuesday.
this pretty much fuels a fire of a potental Dish/T-Moblie merger.
I agree. Verizon's overtures to Charter Cable could be a smoke screen designed to keep Dish's price from rising. I think Verizon could get Dish for a whole lot less than it would cost them for Charter, plus they would get that bundle of spectrum that Dish currently owns.
Besides, if they acquire Charter, they would have to assume a considerable amount of debt.