Dish Bids $32 Billion for Hughes


EchoStar Communications Corp. late Sunday made an unsolicited $32 billion bid
to the board of General Motors Corp. to merge with Hughes Electronics Corp. The
transaction would be tax-free, and leave Hughes shareholders with a 66 percent
stake in the combined company.

In a letter to the GM board sent Sunday, EchoStar chairman Charlie Ergen
wrote, 'We are confident that your shareholders will be supportive of our
proposal and enthusiastic about the extraordinary potential of this

At last week's Satellite Broadcasting & Communications Association trade
show in Nashville, Ergen ducked questions about whether he planned to go forward
with a take-over attempt of DirecTV.

News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch has been in negotiations for months to
merge Hughes with the SkyGlobal Networks division.

Last Thursday, DirecTV CEO Eddy Hartenstein said News Corp. was the only
company that Hughes was in negotiations with, although he acknowledged that
Ergen had had preliminary talks with people at DirecTV, Hughes and