EchoStar and Dish were originally part of the same company, operating under the EchoStar name. In 2008, the company renamed itself Dish and split its satellite internet wing off under the EchoStar brand. Today’s merger reunites the two, which are still each under the purview of Ergen, who stepped down as CEO of Dish in 2017.
“There are a lot of good companies in satellite and a lot in wireless, but not a lot do both of those things,” Ergen told the Journal.
Because Ergen owns more than half of each company, the Dish / EchoStar merger is almost more like consolidating two bank accounts. The deal doesn’t immediately do anything to improve Dish’s network, but the expanded resources could help it get there.