In the latest swirl of T-Mobile-Sprint merger drama, Colorado is exiting a lawsuit challenging the deal after Dish Network agreed to house its new wireless headquarters in the state.
The Colorado Attorney General’s Office announced its decision on Monday after Dish promised that the state would be one of the first in the nation to receive 5G services and become the home of its new wireless headquarters, creating thousands of jobs. The DOJ approved the T-Mobile-Sprint merger back in July after it was able to piece together a new wireless competitor by allocating some of Sprint’s spectrum to Dish. The Federal Communications Commission formally voted to approve the merger late last week.
Dish is positioned to become the third largest wireless competitor after negotiations with the Justice Department to approve the merger.
Dish won’t be building out a new headquarters, however. The company already houses its call center employees at the “Riverfront” facility in Littleton, Colorado and any new wireless HQ employees will work in that building (which looks eerily like a Cabela’s location) as well.
“Today’s settlement with Colorado positions DISH, a company founded in Colorado, to make a transformative impact on the wireless market,” Dish chairman Charlie Ergen said in a statement. “This will strengthen competition for millions of current and future customers across America while bringing to life the nation’s first virtualized standalone 5G broadband network.
Colorado was formerly part of a multistate lawsuit spearheaded by the New York State Attorney General’s office aimed at blocking the merger. Colorado is now the second state to drop out of the suit along with Mississippi. A trial date is set for December 9th.
“The agreements we are announcing today address those concerns by guaranteeing jobs in Colorado, a statewide buildout of a fast 5G network that will especially benefit rural communities, and low-cost mobile plans,” Chief Deputy Attorney General Natalie Hanlon Leh said in a statement to The Colorado Sun. “Our announcement today ensures Coloradans will benefit from Dish’s success as a nationwide wireless competitor.”
In a press release, Dish said that it “expects to employ 2,000 full-time employees” at the Colorado headquarters over the next three years.