News Keeps Talking, DBS Options Open

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NEW YORK -News Corp. is still in "ongoing talks" with U.S. direct-broadcast satellite companies DirecTV Inc. and EchoStar Communications Corp., a News spokesman said last week amid numerous reports over possible DBS mergers.

The talks to merge DirecTV into News' SkyGlobal assets are being held on two fronts, with DirecTV parent Hughes Electronics Corp. and Hughes parent General Motors Corp., the spokesman said.

Reports indicated that News chairman Rupert Murdoch requested a face-to-face meeting with the GM board to make his pitch. UBS Warburg LLC analyst Tom Eagan said he expects to hear a deal announcement one way or the other within the next two weeks, adding that a deal between News and GM makes the most sense.

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