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The Federal Communications Commission continues to receive opinions for and against the pending $26 billion merger between EchoStar and DirecTV from a wide range of interest groups, consumers and others.

More than 6,000 filings, letters and comments have been sent to the FCC on the merger proposal.

In its endorsement of the deal, the Citizens Against Unfair Taxation said the merged entity's "ability to compete with the all-too-often monopolistic cable companies" will be enhanced by its ability to deliver local channels in more cities. "This local coverage is essential to bringing real competition to the cable companies," the organization said.

The proposed merger also will benefit rural areas, Citizens Against Unfair Taxation said. "The prospect of affordable, satellite-based high-speed Internet access, available anywhere in the country at the same price, is a major step forward in bringing the benefits of the Information Age to all citizens, regardless of where they live," the group said.

The Hands Off the Internet coalition also put forward its support for the merger, telling the FCC that the proposed combination of DBS assets would "create an efficiency of operations that will allow it to become a much stronger competitor to cable - in television - and cable/DSL - in broadband."

One group voicing opposition to the merger proposal, the American Council of the Blind, said it wouldn't be in the interest of consumers "to allow the creation of a monopoly and thereby frustrate the potential benefits of competition.

"In fact, we have heard no compelling evidence that would lead us to believe that the value of the proposed merger overcomes the intrinsic and classic dangers of monopoly," the group said.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
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