Hughes, EchoStar End Proposed Merger


EchoStar Communications Corp. has paid a $600 million cash breakup fee to
Hughes Electronics Corp. as the companies formally called off their merger
plans, the companies said in a joint statement.

As part of the termination agreement, EchoStar is no longer required to pay $2.7 billion for 81 percent of PanAmSat Corp., which is owned by Hughes, the companies said.

Shares of EchoStar and Hughes surged on the news.

EchoStar said it would take a $700 million charge to cover the breakup fee and other merger-related charges.

The companies said they called off the deal after the
Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission refused to
approve the merger, which regulators called anti-competitive and injurious to