Report: Verizon has held talks with Dish

|About: Verizon Communications (VZ)|By:, SA News Editor

Sources tell dealReporter Verizon (VZ +0.1%) has held talks with Dish (DISH -0.3%). Dish shares are near breakeven after trading lower much of the day in response to the AT&T/DirecTV deal.

AT&T/DirecTV has fueled speculation Verizon could counter with an offer for Dish, which owns a large chunk of high-frequency spectrum that could be used to offer 4G services. But there has also been a fair amount of skepticism, particularly given Verizon just spent $130B to buy Vodafone's Verizon Wireless stake.

Analyst Craig Moffett: "Dish Network has just been left standing ... That Verizon might be a buyer is more wishful thinking than it is analysis." Wells Fargo thinks Verizon might bid for Dish's spectrum, but not the whole company.

The deal has also renewed speculation Dish will try to merge with T-Mobile (TMUS +2.1%), which could face tough regulatory opposition to a merger with Sprint.

Reuters reported in December Dish is weighing an offer for the #4 U.S. carrier, and Charlie Ergen has said a deal is a possibility.