Advanced Television

DirecTV and Dish DID talk merger

July 2, 2014

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.

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