The merger rumour surfaced following speculation that federal officials could be inclined to support it, following their approval of the XM-Sirius satellite radio merger. DirecTV and Dish attempted to merge several years ago, but the FCC rejected it in 2002 on competition grounds.
In an earnings call following release of the company’s second quarter report, Malone accepted that the merger would be “very synergistic”, but expressed surprise that journalists "all of a sudden discovered the potential of a merger of the two satellite players. "We've talked about it frequently in the past. It would be very synergistic if it were doable. However, we don't see that the regulatory environment has changed since the last time we made comments on the subject. We think it would be problematic to try and merge the two companies in the current regulatory