EchoStar Communications has reportedly turned to UBS Warburg and Morgan Stanley Dean Witter & Co. for $3 billion in short-term loans that the satellite broadcaster needs to make a bid for the parent of its chief competitor, DirecTV. EchoStar Chairman Charlie Ergen is expected to bid as much as $6 billion for Hughes Electronics, which would upset a long-standing offer for the pay-television company by News Corp.
Dialing for Deals
Net2Phone says that it will license its core voice-over-Internet Protocol technology to Liberty Media, and is negotiating a similar deal with AT&T. The five-year deal includes Net2Phones voice-over-broadband service. AT&T owns about 32 percent of Net2Phone.
IBlast, a company developing a wireless data network that rides the airwaves along with digital television transmissions, has closed on a $10 million round of financing. Backed by Cox Broadcasting, Gannett and The Washington Post, iBlast will at first deliver games and other data files to computers and set-top boxes, and will later allow Web browsing.