EchoStar's Hughes buy adds a (small) hurdle to AT&T's potential bid for EchoStar and Dish

EchoStar's (Nasdaq:SATS) $2 billion offer for Hughes Communications (Nasdaq:HUGH) will allow its satellite TV provider Dish Network (Nasdaq:DISH) to add broadband services to its customer offerings but is likely to add some complications-in the form of regulators--to the rumored AT&T (NYSE:T) acquisition of EchoStar.

Last week, Credit Suisse speculated that the time was ripe for AT&T to acquire EchoStar and Dish, that on the heels of similar rumors a couple of years ago of the potential for a merger.

But that deal would have to make it past regulators who are likely to hear objections from MSOs Time Warner Cable Inc. (NYSE: TWC), Comcast (Nasdaq:CMCSA), and Cablevision (NYSE:CVC), according to published report, who would oppose any more expansion by AT&T or Verizon (NYSE:VZ), which would likely look at acquiring DirecTV to balance AT&T's move.

Of course, it's all just speculation at the moment, a sort of telecom "Hot Stove League."

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