Dish Takeover Talks Heat Up

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EchoStar Communications Corp. declined comment on a report in The Wall
Street Journal
Wednesday that said it was securing financing for a takeover
bid of DirecTV Inc. parent Hughes Electronics Corp.

Late Tuesday, EchoStar said the two companies had filed a joint motion to
extend the deadline for EchoStar to file key comments in the antitrust suit it
filed against DirecTV last year.

With the contentious lawsuit on hold, the companies are in a better position
to discuss whether a merger between them would make sense. EchoStar said it will
drop the lawsuit if merger talks are successful.

Monday night, EchoStar chairman Charlie Ergen told viewers of his 'Charlie
Chat' that he is interested in buying DirecTV, but the companies have not yet
begun formal negotiations.

Hughes and News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch are conducting due diligence
about a possible merger of DirecTV into News Corp.'s SkyGlobal
Networks.

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