EchoStar Communications reportedly has won the intense bidding war for
General Motors' Hughes Electronics unit with a bid of $25.8 billion in stock and
cash, after a weekend that saw News Corp. bail out and while EchoStar's pitch
was imperiled by financing issues.
On Sunday night, GM's board gave EchoStar the green
light to buy Hughes and acquire arch-rival DirecTV, according to press reports.
The combo spawns the nation's dominant satellite TV power in a deal almost certain to face intense regulatory scrutiny.
The DirecTV bidding became decidedly one-sided after
News Corp. honcho Rupert Murdoch pulled out on Saturday night.
He was miffed that EchoStar had been granted more time to secure $5.5 billion
in financing from UBS Warburg and Deutsche Bank AG.
Murdoch had put $5 billion of his own cash and stock on the table.