Verizon CEO Says Reports of Dish Deal Talks Are ‘Fantasy’

Verizon Communications Inc. Chief Executive Officer Lowell McAdam said the company is not in talks to acquire Dish Network Corp.

“There’s reports out there that we’re talking to Dish, but I can tell you that’s somebody’s fantasy,” McAdam said today at the JPMorgan Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference in Boston. “There have not been any discussions and there aren’t any discussions with Dish.”

Speculation that Verizon would bid for Dish followed a wave of consolidation in the pay-TV industry with Comcast Corp. and Time Warner Cable Inc. agreeing to merge and AT&T Inc. announcing plans to acquire DirecTV earlier this week. Verizon completed a $130 billion buyout of Vodafone Group Plc’s stake in its wireless venture this year.

“People say, ‘well don’t you have to do a merger?’” McAdam said. “Well I just did a $130 billion merger. We want to pay that off. I don’t feel the need to do anything else at this point.”

While Dish has some interesting assets and there are ways Dish and Verizon can work together, he said that owning a satellite company isn’t something he finds compelling at this point.

DealReporter said yesterday that Verizon has held “soft” talks with Dish, citing a person briefed on the matter.

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