AT&T has been consulting lawyers in Washington, D.C., to see how long it would take to get government approval to buy either
AT&T could disclose a bid to buy either of them before year-end in the hope of getting approvals before a new administration takes office, the paper said.
There has been recent market speculation that AT&T could make a bid for EchoStar to expand into satellite televisionwith rivals like Verizon Communications.
AT&T Chief Financial Officer Rick Lindner declined to comment on the matter on a conference call with analysts on Tuesday.
The paper said EchoStar would be a less complicated acquisition, since it is held mostly by institutional shareholders. EchoStar has a market value of about $10 billion.
Last year, John Malone's Liberty Media agreed to buy News Corp.'s stake in DirecTV, though the deal is still awaiting approval by regulators.