Dish, DirecTV shares rise on reported merger talk

      LOS ANGELES (AP) - Shares of satellite TV companies Dish and DirecTV surged in midday trading Wednesday after a report said that Dish Chairman Charlie Ergen had contacted DirecTV CEO Mike White about merging.

      Bloomberg News reported Ergen initiated the discussion in response to Comcast Corp.'s pending $45 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc., which was announced last month. The news service cited several unnamed sources.

      Dish Network Corp. spokesman Bob Toevs declined to comment. DirecTV spokesman Robert Mercer said the company doesn't comment on speculation.

      Dish shares rose $4.67, or 8 percent, to $63.09, while DirecTV shares rose $4.88, or 6.7 percent, to $78.05.

      Dish is based in Englewood, Colo., and DirecTV is based in El Segundo, Calif.