About 10 years ago, Dish Network and DirecTV tried to merge but regulators decided that a combination of the nation's two satellite broadcasters would be anti-competitive.
At that time, one of the reasons given for blocking the marriage was that it would limit competition among pay-TV distributors. Now, a decade later, there are more options for consumers in the form of phone companies such as Verizon and AT&T. Also, online platforms such as Netflix and Hulu have emerged as viable distribution systems.
Both companies still have some interest in pursuing a deal. On an earnings call earlier this month, Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen said, "obviously it is one of the things both companies have to consider." DirecTV Chief Executive Mike White expressed that same sentiment as well at an investor conference last September.
But even though there are more players on the field, one analyst thinks regulators still would likely argue a DirecTV-Dish combination would tilt the game too much in one direction.