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Will Dish, T-Mobile be the next blockbuster merger?

Dish and T-Mobile are reportedly in talks to merge

The stocks of Dish Network Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc. both jumped in early trading Thursday in response to a report that the companies are holding merger talks.

Dish is the nation’s second-largest satellite television operator and T-Mobile is the fourth-largest wireless carrier, and their marriage would extend a wave of consolidation in the media and communications industries.

Dish’s stock climbed $4 a share, or 5.6%, to $74.81 and T-Mobile’s stock gained $1.83 a share, or nearly 5%, to $40.16.

Any merger likely would be valued in the tens of billions of dollars. Dish’s overall stock-market value is $33 billion and T-Mobile’s is about $31 billion.

The potential deal was reported by the Wall Street Journal, which said terms were still being worked out and that a formal agreement might not materialize.

But if completed, a deal between Dish and T-Mobile would be the latest in a string of mergers combining television operators with cable and Internet service providers.

AT&T is nearing completion of a deal to buy Dish rival DirecTV for $49 billion, and Charter Communications Inc. recently announced $67 billion in deals to acquire Time Warner Cable and Bright House Networks to form the nation’s second-largest cable operator.

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