Bloomberg’s Businessweek is reporting that the USA’s two giant DBS pay-TV operators DirecTV and Dish Network did hold merger discussions as recently as six days prior to the AT&T deal being announced.
DirecTV has confirmed that it did hold talks “with a competitor” without naming the rival. The revelation emerged in documents filed with the SEC on July 1. DirecTV agreed to sell itself to AT&T on May 18 for $48.5 billion.
Bloomberg states that Dish Network’s founder and chairman Charlie Ergen had contacted DirecTV’s CEO Mike White to actively open up a discussion. The two business leaders had both spoken publicly in the past about the logic – and the challenges – of a merger.
The documents say that AT&T opened up the merger discussions in a year ago, and terminated them in September last year. The discussions were reopened once the Comcast/Time Warner merger was announced in February.