"This acquisition really does nothing to jeopardize, or for that matter enhance, a long-rumored deal between AT&T and Dish," Paul Ausick wrote on 24/7WallSt.com. The bigger question, he continued, is whether regulators will allow such an AT&T satellite acquisition to happen because "terrestrial cable broadband providers Time Warner Cable and Cablevision Systems are certain to object." Of course, as history shows, everybody and his brother objected to Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) buying NBCUniversal.
A wild card in the deal could be that EchoStar is getting what it wants from Hughes--a broadband connection, of sorts--and it wouldn't necessarily need what AT&T could bring to the business. While expensive and certainly less featured than other broadband plans, the HughesNet consumer broadband satellite plans are a boon for rural subscribers.
EchoStar to buy Hughes for $2 billion
Rumors of AT&T looking to buy Dish Network, EchoStar launched anew
Hot Stove League: AT&T-Dish Network deal makes sense