Liberty Media ( LINTA) and EchoStar Communications ( ECHO) are reportedly teaming up to submit a bid for satellite-communications provider Intelsat.

The Wall Street Journal, citing people familiar with the matter, said Intelsat is expected to draw bids of $4.5 billion to $5.5 billion, though it didn't specify what Liberty and EchoStar may offer. Intelsat's private-equity owners have put the company up for auction, and bids are due Thursday.

A Liberty-EchoStar team is somewhat unconventional, because Liberty is in the process of taking control of EchoStar satellite-broadcast rival DirecTV ( DTV). According to the Journal, the two companies believe acquiring Intelsat would help each substantially reduce operating costs.

Shares of Liberty Media Interactive, one of Liberty's tracking stocks, were up 25 cents, or 1%, to $25.06. EchoStar, which also was in the news because of a partnership with wireless-broadband outfit Clearwire ( CLWR), was up 52 cents, or 1.2%, to $45.45.

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