EchoStar Communications Corporation and General Motors Corporation are in preliminary discussions about a possible merger of EchoStar and Hughes Electronics' DirecTV unit, according to a court filing by the companies, says a Bloomberg News report published today on the New York Times website.

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Bloomberg said that the companies filed a motion for a 60-day stay to a lawsuit EchoStar filed last year in Federal District Court in Denver saying DirecTV had a monopoly. G.M. owns 32 percent of Hughes' tracking stock.

Charles Ergen, chief executive of EchoStar, said last month that it had the financial resources to buy DirecTV. EchoStar would vie with Rupert Murdoch's News Corporationcoei, which is in talks to buy G.M.'s Hughes stake and merge it with its Sky Global unit, Bloomberg said.

According to Bloomberg News, the lawsuit said: “Recently, representatives of G.M. and EchoStar have conducted preliminary discussions as to whether a transaction leading to a business combination of EchoStar and DirecTV would be mutually desirable.''

It added that there were no assurances a deal would occur, the news agency report said.

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