Saw this on the wires today: "NEW YORK (Reuters) - Satellite television provider EchoStar Communications Corp. said on Sunday it is making a $30.4 billion stock bid for Hughes Electronics Corp. in a move that could trump rival News Corp. in a battle for Hughes' coveted DirecTV network. EchoStar is proposing to offer 0.75 of its shares for each Hughes share, valuing Hughes' stock at about $22.83 per share, an 18 percent premium based on Hughes' closing price on Friday. EchoStar also said it would assume about $1.9 billion in Hughes debt. EchoStar competes with global media giant News Corp., which seeks to merge DirecTV with its Sky Global network of satellite services. Littleton, Colorado-based EchoStar operates the Dish Network, the No. 2 U.S. satellite television service. El Segundo, California-based Hughes, a unit of automobiles giant General Motors Corp., has been negotiating for the sale of DirecTV since last fall. Shareholders of General Motors and Hughes would own about 66 percent of the diluted equity in the combined company under the EchoStar bid. General Motors said in May it had approved talks between Hughes and News Corp., controlled by media mogul Rupert Murdoch and based in Australia. General Motors and News Corp. have been engaged in discussions over Hughes for some time and had negotiations as recently as last week, sources familiar with the situation have said. EchoStar, meanwhile, said on July 19 that it could not convince the Hughes' board to make a deal. Spokespeople for both General Motors and Hughes said their companies had not yet formed responses to the bid. Officials at News Corp. were not immediately available for comment. EchoStar said it has identified massive synergy opportunities valued at about $37 billion, or $26 per share, for Hughes shareholders and up to $11 billion, or $20 per share, to General Motors shareholders. A spokesman for EchoStar said it was premature to speculate about potential job cuts from an EchoStar-Hughes deal and the management or board structure of a combined company. He would not comment about other possible bidders for Hughes." The plot thickens! I thought Charlie was out of the running, but anything that keeps more media out of the hands of Rupert Murdoch is o.k. by me. Have no idea where they would start with "assimilating" DirecTV subscribers (sorry guys, Resistance is Futile). Would be nice to get Dish HD content with only one dish.