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Dish Counters T-Mobile Arguments on 800 MHz Extension

Dish Network fired back Friday at T-Mobile in their dispute (see 2308280055) over whether the emerging carrier should have until June 30 to exercise an option to buy 800 MHz licenses from T-Mobile. Dish asked for an extension from the…

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U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia. The option to buy the licenses was part of a web of agreements in T-Mobile’s buy of Sprint (see 2308170065). Dish noted T-Mobile’s dominance among U.S. wireless carriers, with the largest market cap of the big three. “T-Mobile wants the Court to view DISH’s Motion as nothing more than an ordinary commercial dispute,” Dish said: “The Opposition reads as if the Court’s evaluation of this Motion were just an exercise in contract interpretation. But the Opposition’s rhetoric about how contracts ought to be read obfuscates the key principle relevant to the Court’s analysis of the Final Judgment: preserving Competition.” Dish noted that two weeks ago, in agreeing to the spectrum transfer, T-Mobile told the FCC, “The terms of the Final Judgment are designed to facilitate DISH’s entry into the wireless market as a facilities-based provider and ... [t]he 800 MHz spectrum licenses contemplated by this transaction will substantially enhance DISH’s ability to do so.” That admission undermines T-Mobile’s opposition to an extension, Dish said: T-Mobile’s objection “should be seen for what it is: an attempt by the market leader to hinder a nascent competitor, one that has taken on the Herculean task of building a modern nationwide facilities-based wireless network in a period of unprecedented economic turmoil.”