DISH & DirecTV merger back on?

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Private equity fund Apollo Global Management is reportedly looking to help engineer a merger between the USA’s two giant DTH players, DirecTV (now owned by AT&T) and Charlie Ergen’s DISH Network.

The primary source for the report was FOX Business Network which suggested that DISH would be folded into a new company which would include DirecTV, although the new entity would be controlled by AT&T and with Apollo putting up cash and holding a minority stake.

The Fox report admitted that AT&T would certainly not receive the $49 billion it paid for DirecTV some four years ago but it would help ease some of the $20 billion of debt that’s still on AT&T’s books.

However, just as a cautionary message AT&T’s John Stankey has repeatedly said that DirecTV is not for sale. But this is not a sale, and thus could be under consideration.

AT&T confirmed October 10th that the suggestion had been made but that there are no active discussions. There’s no news out of Ergen’s Denver offices.


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