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Dish Network stock jumps amid talk of AT&T bid

February 10, 2011 | 12:22 pm

Dish A report that AT&T Inc. might make a bid for Dish Network Corp. caused Dish's stock price to climb  Thursday.

Jonathan Chaplin, an analyst with Credit Suisse Group, said that Dish’s wireless-spectrum assets -- which could allow a partnering phone carrier to offer a “triple play bundle of video, voice and data” services -- are key to its appeal.

And as part of AT&T, Dish would “almost certainly” see a boost in subscribers while likely reducing installation and customer service costs, Chaplin wrote. AT&T would be able to negotiate lower content and programming costs for its U-Verse television and Internet business by going through existing Dish contracts.

“The strategic value of spectrum speaks for itself –- spectrum is in limited supply,” Chaplin wrote. “AT&T has borne painful witness to the impact of rising smart phone penetration on its wireless network.”

Dish shares jumped as high as $24 on Thursday, 8.2% above Wednesday's close. They ended the day's regular session at $23.49, up $1.31, while AT&T gained 27 cents to $28.24.

Several years ago, Dish turned down an offer from AT&T, Chaplin wrote. But now that AT&T is satisfied with the government's position on net neutrality regulations, it makes sense for the company to try again. A deal with Dish, one of the country’s largest satellite television providers, would likely require approval from both the FCC and the Department of Justice.


Fox, Dish Network resolve dispute

FCC approves net neutrality regulations

-- Tiffany Hsu

Photo: Rigo Martinez lines up a dish at a home in Littleton, Colo. in 2006. Credit: Ed Andrieski / Assocaited Press