AT&T-EchoStar: Real Buyout Talks Or Wishful Analyst Thinking?

Shares of EchoStar Communications (NSDQ: DISH) jumped today on the renewal of rumors that AT&T (NYSE: T) may be eying the company. Stoking the speculation: a research note from Oppenheimer analyst Thomas Eagan calling for such a deal was picked up by a number of outlets, including Eagan believes that AT&T’s U-Verse rollout is already proving to be a failure and that the company needs to take a different approach to offering video.

If the two companies are talking, it comes at an interesting time for EchoStar, which earlier this week announced plans to buy Sling Media and a possible split into two companies. It’s not clear how any such deal would affect that plan — although AT&T arguably could acquire just the DISH pay-tv business leaving the possible tech company for EchoStar Chairman and CEO Charlie Ergen,

As for AT&T, it’s been talking up the success of U-Verse. At the recent Goldman Sachs Communacopia conference, company exec Ralph de la Vega said U-Verse now had 100,000 subscribes, double where it was in June, and that growth looked very strong going forward.

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