EchoStar may force News Corp to up ante for DirecTV

EchoStar Communications’ $30-billion bid for Hughes Electronics, operator of DirecTV, may force News Corp, the leading suitor for the General Motors-owned company, to raise its bid, according to analysts and investors interviewed by Bloomberg News. It would also force News Corp to make its bid public so that investors in GM and Hughes can assess it, the wire service observed. It quoted Vic Hawley of investment advisors Reed Conner & Birdwell as saying that GM “can force a sub-par deal to a point, but to get our approval, Murdoch has to make it clear to us that this is a deal we want over EchoStar.” Meanwhile, EchoStar said Tuesday that it would replace DirecTV receivers in subscribers’ homes with its own over the next four years at a cost of $2.5 billion.