Liberty Media, Echostar to bid for Intelsat

Liberty Media and Echostar Communications are preparing a joint offer to acquire Intelsat, a large commercial satellite operator, the “Wall Street Journal” reported last week.

Sources told Reuters in April that the private equity owners of Intelsat had put the company up for sale and had been approached by a potential buyer, also from the private equity industry. Bids for Intelsat include private equity firms and were due by late last week. The bids totaled about $5 billion, as reported by the “Washington Post.”

The pairing of Liberty, which is set to take control of DIRECTV this year, and Echostar, which operates the DISH satellite TV network, would boost capacity for HDTV and high-speed Internet services.

The two direct-to-home satellite services have been exploring ways to jointly expand their bandwidth, while competing with cable and telco companies.

In another development, DIRECTV and Echostar announced last week they would be working with Clearwire to offer high-speed Internet access and voice services using Clearwire’s wireless high-speed network.