No sooner than chatter
began flying over a potential AT&T / EchoStar deal, Sanford C. Bernstein & Co. is wondering who actually thought (or still thinks) that this is a match made in heaven. According to media analyst Craig Moffett, "the very notion of an AT&T / EchoStar combination is based on a flawed premise; i.e. that AT&T needs video in order to compete with cable." He went on to say that AT&T is losing phone lines to cable because cable simply "has a marginal cost advantage," and noted that pairing up the two "does nothing to address AT&T's underlying cost problem." Stepping back, we actually see quite a bit of logic in Mr. Moffett's reasoning, and when you mix in the fact that AT&T's U-Verse could pose "a strategic threat to EchoStar," one really wonders how effective a partnership would be.