NEW YORK (TheStreet) -- Dish Networks (DISH - Get Report) spiked after reports the satellite TV provider is in talks to acquire T-Mobile U.S. (TMUS - Get Report), a move that could push the company into the wireless business in a meaningful way. Wireless carrier Sprint (S - Get Report) tanked as investors feared it may be left on the sidelines of the telecom and media merger mania. Ericsson (ERIC - Get Report) jumped after an analyst upgrade.
Dish Networks soared 4.9% to close at $74.25.
The satellite TV and entertainment company is reportedly in talks to buy T-Mobile U.S, which has undergone a round of unsuccessful buyout talks with other suitors. Sprint, for example, dropped its plans to acquire T-Mobile after regulators weighed in with concerns about a shrinking market of major U.S. carriers. Iliad SA also halted its T-Mobile acquisition plans in October, according to a Reuters report.
The Dish and T-Mobile buyout talks, which Bloomberg noted in a report, are slow moving and had resumed in September but largely have failed to move much further since then.
The CEO of Dish Network has been negotiating with Deutsche Telekom AG, T-Mobile's controlling shareholder. Dish's interest in the telecom carrier apparently is centered on giving Dish an entry point into mobile video that could potentially compete with pay-TV, according to Bloomberg.
Also, a Dish and T-Mobile deal would transform T-Mobile into the No. 2 carrier in terms of the treasure trove of spectrum licenses, or airwaves, that T-Mobile would gain as a result of a merger, according to Reuters. That would put it past behemoths AT&T (T - Get Report) and Verizon Communications (VZ - Get Report) and behind Sprint, according to Reuters.
Sprint tanked 6.3% to finish the day at $4.45.
Investors may have been spooked that Sprint will be left on the sidelines of the telecom and media merger mania, according to a 24/7 Wall Street report. For example, Verizon recently announced plans to acquire AOL (AOL), AT&T is close to hooking up with DirecTV (DTV) and now Dish is looking at snapping up T-Mobile.
Sprint's market cap is roughly $18 billion and it is carrying $32.5 billion in long-term debt, as well as another $18 billion in deferred long-term charges and other liabilities, according to 24/7 Wall Street. The report noted that if a prospective buyer does not make the acquisition via a stock deal, it would likely result in acquiring more debt.
That may make such an acquisition of Sprint potentially less attractive.
Ericsson jumped 2.4% to close at $11.61.
The communications technology and services company got a lift after J.P. Morgan upgraded the company to neutral from overweight, according to a report in Briefing.com.
That upgrade followed Ericsson's forecast Wednesday that it expected 6.1 billion smartphone subscriptions by late 2020 -- more than double the 2.6 billion in 2014, according to a Reuters report.
As a a result, mobile data traffic is expected to soar ninefold, according to Reuters. That stands to benefit Ericsson, the largest telecom network equipment maker in the world.