Rumors Grow Of AT&T EchoStar Takeover

EchoStar shares have been rising lately as a result of rumors of a pending acquisition of the satellite company by telco behemoth AT&T for $25 billion.

The hearsay follows EchoStar’s recent double-barrel announcement that it will purchase the remainder of Sling Media, maker of the Slingbox, for $380 million, and that it is considering splitting itself into two public companies.

The proposed split would separate EchoStar’s profit-generating Dish Network service from the company’s technology assets. Presumably the latter will include know-how from Sling Media that allows users to access any TV set of their choice via internet streaming.

Dish Network has about 13.5 million subscribers. AT&T operates the U-Verse fiber-optic TV service, which has not gained wide acceptance among consumers despite using up considerable company resources. The company is widely believed to be seeking a video partner—a desire that an EchoStar acquisition would satisfy.