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CEO: Dish "Open" to Being Sold
By Swanni

Las Vegas (January 12, 2012) -- Dish CEO Joe Clayton raised eyebrows yesterday when he said the satellite TV service is "open" to being purchased by another company.

"We're open to all possible options," Clayton told Bloomberg News after being asked about possible merger plans. "We could be acquired or we could be the acquirer."

Clayton, who was interviewed at the Consumer Electronics Show, did say the company would be "open" to those options after it finished 'building out' its wireless spectrum and entertainment businesses. There has been speculation that Dish might be interested in buying T-Mobile.

Clayton, a long-time executive in the satellite and TV business, is known for his candor, but it's somewhat unusual for a company CEO to acknowledge so openly that his company is "open" to being purchased. Normally, the CEO dodges such a question with generalities and industry-speak.

But for Clayton to say his company could be purchased suggests that Dish could be actively soliciting bids as well as discussing possible acquisitions of its own. The Dish executive almost seems to setting the stage for a major change to the company's status.

Of course, over the years, there have been countless rumors that Dish would be purchased by another company, or merge with ne. And only twice did the rumors come true: In 1997, Dish began merger talks with News Corp, but they collapsed when company executives butted heads. And in 2001, DIRECTV and Dish Network agreed to merge, but the deal was killed by federal regulators on anti-competitive reasons.

And with Dish as the nation's second leading satellite TV service, any deal would likely again be carefully reviewed in Washington.

What do you think? Offer your comments below!

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