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Merger DEAD?

3974 Views 55 Replies 25 Participants Last post by  James_F
The New York times is reporting that the Justice Department will rule against the merger of Echostar and DirecTV!


I am sure we will be hearing much more about this over the next few days!
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Justice Dept. Staff Said to Be Opposing Satellite TV Merger

ASHINGTON, Sept. 23 - Staff members of the Justice Department have recommended that the government block the proposed $11.2 billion merger of the two largest satellite television broadcasters, DirecTV and EchoStar, because it would be anticompetitive, lawyers involved in the review said today.

If approved by Charles A. James, the head of the antitrust division, the decision would be a major victory for Rupert Murdoch, chairman of the News Corporation, who had sought unsuccessfully to buy DirecTV.
Drudge Report is now reporting the same thing

DISH IN PLAY? ONE FOR MURDOCH: DEPT OF JUSTICE STAFF SAID TO OPPOSE ECHOSTAR-DIRECTV MERGER... Recommended gov block proposed $11 billion merger of two largest satellite television broadcasters; it would be anticompetitive, NYT set to report later Monday night, newsroom sources tell DRUDGE. Murdoch had sought unsuccessfully to buy DirecTV... MORE...
(Unfortunately there is no more even though it says more)
Normally I don't put much weight in the Drudge Reports, but The New York times hold a lot of water.

The question is what does Charlie do now? He has spent the last year spending all his time on the merger, feeling it was a sure thing.

Now it seems likely that the merger will not be approved.

I wonder what Echostar stock will look like tommorow?
Drudge is simply quoting the NYT, so his report is only as relable as the NYT report. I suspect it is true though.
I wonder what Echostar stock will look like tommorow?
I would think it will be up because of all the now freed up cash they have on hand. The first thing he should do is attempt to buy back the Vivendi investment at a greatly reduced price tag. It seems pretty obvious because of the price spread between DISH and GMH that the market has not expected the merger to work out for some time.
Well I hope they make the decision either way public soon. I hate all this limbo that the industry is in waiting on an announcement.
Not that I am saying Dish/DTV should of merged but if they then go ahead and allow AT&T and comcast merge they will show just how pro-cable they are.
The thing of it is the Justice Department NEVER approved the AT&T / Comcast merger.

According to the DOJ they are still investigating the merger and have not made their decission yet.
What a minute here... Do we have something DBS to talk about here??? :hurah:
If Rupert tried to swoop in he would have to go through this whole process too wouldn't he?
Originally posted by James_F
What a minute here... Do we have something DBS to talk about here??? :hurah:
Yup I feel a newscast coming on tommorow. :D
Originally posted by SParker
If Rupert tried to swoop in he would have to go through this whole process too wouldn't he?
Probably as much since he doesn' t own another DBS system here. I'm not sure if he owns any stock in Echostar anymore, but if he did, he'd have to sell it. If not, then I doubt there would be much from the feds.
He probably would since he has so many broadcast companies in the US. Although I expect it would go through and go through quick.

GM is very profitable now. Might they not sell DirecTV to NewCorp and hold on to Hughes? Paying out shareholders isn't as important as it was a year ago.
It wouldn't surprise me if it goes to News Corp. My main question is - if it goes to News Corp will it remain DirecTV (branded) or will it become American Sky Broadcasting (like he owns British Sky Broadcasting, etc...)?
Spend billions of dollars to buy a company and then spend millions to re-brand it. Not likely.
Probably be like Sky DirectTV like Echostar Dishnetwork and Hughes DirectTV, DirectTV the product name and Sky the company.
There is nothing that I've found that says even a majority of the staff are against it. "Staff" could be one person. There was news last week regarding some in-fighting between a couple of the "staff".


Not everyone in the DOJ is in total agreement. So, what's new?

I don't see this as conclusive. Maybe when we get "more", we'll know "more".
Late update... Wall Street Journal article says (I would post link but subscription site):

Senior staff at Justice and FCC to recommend merger not go forward, but Charlie Ergan going to Justice department to give deposition. WSJ expects several weeks of intense negotiation to try to save merger. At issue what will ED* have to give up to allow competition to appear in DBS... including giving up claim to wing sats.

WSJ is not so confident that the merger is dead, but now that ED* will really have to make a lot of concessions to make it happen. Ergan to be at FCC tomorrow (Wednesday) and DOJ next week.

Link for those that subscribe:


Date says article posted Sept 24th, so essentially it was just posted.

Reading the article again for about the 4th time, it seems to imply that they might have to give up a CONUS slot. Something along the lines of they can use the slot until another sat company comes along and builds a sat for it. It speculates that given todays investment environment that it may be a long time before someone can put together a serious proposal for using the slot, build the sat and get it launched.
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