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Dish Network again weighs DirecTV deal: report

A DISH Network Pro-301 satellite dish and box are seen in an undated handout photo. REUTERS/DISH Network/Handout

PHILADELPHIA (Reuters) - U.S. satellite-TV provider Dish Network Corp is weighing another attempt to merge with rival DirecTV Group Inc, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday.

No formal proposal has been made, but Dish executives and DirecTV representatives have had general discussions about the idea in recent months, the newspaper reported in its electronic edition.

On Monday Dish reported a loss in subscribers, which may prompt the company to consider “a major strategic shift” that could involve reviving attempts to combine with DirecTV, the newspaper said.

The two satellite broadcasters attempted a deal in 2001, when Dish tried to acquire DirecTV’s then-owner Hughes Electronics Corp, but the efforts were abandoned due to regulatory opposition.

Dish Chairman and Chief Executive Charles Ergen thinks the regulatory and competitive environment may be more receptive for a Dish-DirecTV deal now, the newspaper said.

Dish and DirecTV could not be immediately reached for comment.

(Reporting by Jessica Hall, editing by Dave Zimmerman)

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