Dish Network Shares Falling After Staff Reductions Due to Coronavirus

Dish Network has cut staff and is re-evaluating its business in an effort to respond to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic.
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Dish Network  (DISH) - Get Report has cut staff and is re-evaluating its business in an effort to respond to the disruption caused by the coronavirus pandemic. 

"Due to the current economic climate, combined with changing needs of our customers and how we best serve them, DISH has made the difficult decision to reevaluate our organization," the company said in a statement. "This includes a focused set of staffing reductions to align our workforce with the current and future needs of the business. It is not a step we took lightly."

Shares were recently down 5.2% to $21.87.

"The pandemic has forced us to take a closer look at every aspect of our business, at our work volumes, our areas of focus and investments, and the performance of our team members," CEO Erik Carlson told employees in an internal memo, according to Reuters. "I want you to hear directly from me that we've made a series of difficult decisions to reevaluate parts of our business, particularly within In Home Services."

The Englewood, Colorado-based company  had 16,000 employees as of December 31. There was no immediate information on how many staffers were laid off.

Dish Network will benefit from the  $26 billion T-Mobile Sprint  (TMUS) - Get Report merger. As part of an agreement with the Department of Justice, Dish acquired Sprint's prepaid mobile brand Boost and Sprint's 800MHz wireless spectrum to help it build a 5G network. The deal closed on April 1.

Ergen needs to raise about $10 billion to build a 5G network that covers 70% of the US population by June 2023, the New York Post reported on Sunday, fulfilling his part of a regulatory agreement that allowed Sprint to be acquired by T-Mobile.

A federal judge approved the long-delayed deal in February, and a group of state attorneys general did not appeal the ruling. 

If Dish fails to meet it 2023 deadline, it could face $2 billion in fines and be ordered to return $12 billion in unused government spectrum its been sitting on, the Post said, citing court documents.