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IN BRIEF / Entertainment

Sale of EchoStar Stake to Vivendi Clears Hurdle

January 16, 2002|Bloomberg News

U.S. antitrust officials approved Vivendi Universal's $1.5-billion purchase of a 10% stake in EchoStar Communications Corp., giving the Paris-based company a distribution system for its Universal Studios films.

Littleton, Colo.-based EchoStar will use the proceeds of the investment to help finance its $28.9-billion acquisition of Hughes Electronics Corp.

That transaction is being reviewed by the Justice Department.

Separately, Hughes of El Segundo posted a fourth-quarter loss of $132.6 million, citing higher programming costs. In the year-ago period, Hughes had net income of $1.06 billion, including a $1.13-billion gain.

EchoStar shares were unchanged at $28.44 on Nasdaq.

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