Updated from 10 a.m.AT&T has hired Goldman Sachs to explore the acquisition of EchoStar ( DISH), TheStreet.com has learned. Goldman was hired by AT&T about a month ago, says a source familiar with the companies. It was around that time that EchoStar said it was considering splitting its TV broadcasting operations from its wholesale satellite transmission business. The move adds more fuel to the deal developments
EchoStar also improved its chances last month by saying it would pay $380 million for TV-over-the-Internet device maker Slingbox and possibly incorporate the technology as part of its consumer TV service. The Slingbox device could be part of a key service offering down the road as new radio wave spectrum becomes available to so-called open standard devices, says one person familiar with the companies. AT&T shares rose 7 cents to $42.26 and EchoStar was up 81 cents to $49.85 in early trading Tuesday.