General Motors executives seem to have cleared the biggest hurdle in planning the future of DirecTV: settling for less. GM, which controls DirecTV parent Hughes Communications, was looking for a $50 billion-plus valuation of the satellite unit from News Corp. and its partners, Microsoft Corp. and Liberty Media.
However, Hughes is now trading for $23 billion or so. A News Corp. executive said the companies hope to seal a deal within "weeks" by merging Hughes into News Corp.'s Sky Global international DBS arm.
But an investment banker involved in the deal notes that "inertia reigns supreme" at GM, and the company could back away until the market revives.