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Merger talks between

Hughes Electronics



News Corp.

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have intensified, and the two sides believe they could reach a deal within the next few weeks, according to a published report.

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The Wall Street Journal

reported tonight that while several issues need to be resolved, the companies have tentatively worked out an agreement. The report, citing sources close to the situation, said

General Motors

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, the parent of Hughes, would spin off the operation. News Corp.'s closely held

Sky Global Networks

satellite business would then be merged into Hughes, creating an independent, publicly traded company.

Shareholders of Hughes would own roughly 64% of the merged company, with News Corp. owning the rest, the report indicated.