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DIRECTV-Dish Merger: The Buzz Is Back
By Swanni

Washington, D.C. (March 18, 2013) - Seemingly within minutes of the news that DIRECTV was no longer a bidder for the Brazilian telecom company GTT, speculation surfaced Friday that the satcaster would seek a merger with its rival satellite service, Dish.

Shares of DIRECTV rose 4.5 percent on Friday after a Wall Street analyst said the merger was now more likely while Dish's stock increased three percent.

The analyst,
Macquarie's Amy Yong, wrote in a note to investors that a satellite merger would face regulatory obstacles but would be a boon for both companies because it would create both "long term and short term synergies" as well as make the new company more competitive, writes the Denver Post.

Dish execs Charlie Ergen and Joe Clayton and DIRECTV CEO Mike White have repeatedly hinted their companies could merge at some point. While Dish has also been linked to a possible merger with AT&T and others, DIRECTV makes the most sense. Noting the increased competition -- and the rising cost of acquiring programming -- DIRECTV late last year publicly acknowledged the wisdom of bringing the companies together.

However, the two companies agreed to merge in 2001 but the deal was blocked by federal regulators on grounds that it would be anti-competitive. Although there are more video providers on the scene now compared to 2002, the FCC and Justice Department would likely still be resistant to a satellite merger.

Note: Swanni
predicted last December that "Dish will aggressively seek a merger with DIRECTV in 2013. If DIRECTV ultimately says no, I further predict that Dish will join forces with another communications company such as Sprint, Verizon or AT&T."

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