Thursday, December 07, 2006

Does the News Corp/Liberty Asset Swap Deal Put EchoStar (DISH) In Play? options columnist Steven Smith suggests that News Corp's (NYSE: NWS) asset swap deal with Liberty Capital to send its DirectTV (NYSE: DTV) stake to Liberty return for Liberty's stake in News Corp could set the stage for a takeover of DirectTV rival EchoStar Communications (Nasdaq: DISH).

Smith said the deal will clean up the ownership structure of both NWS and DTV, leaving either to buy EchoStar. Smtih said Liberty could also buy DISH, to complement its European satellite business BSkyB.

In the past, AT&T (NYSE: T) was also mentioned as a possible buyer for DISH, which has long been a rumored target.

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