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The Federal Communications Commission suspended its review of EchoStar's proposed $26 billion merger with DirecTV and Hughes Electronics, citing the need for information on the companies' operations in order to complete its inquiry.

The FCC works to complete merger reviews within 180 days, but told the companies that it has stopped the clock on its review of the DBS deal. The FCC asked the companies to provide information on revenues, program distribution, packages they offer and high-speed Internet services, among other pieces of information, by March 6. The companies asked for a 15-day extension, according to wire reports.

"As it is now clear that the March 6, 2002, deadline has not been met, we expect the applicants to submit the requested documents and information as soon as possible," Ken Ferree, chief of the FCC's Cable Services Bureau and leader of an agency team scrutinizing the deal, said in a letter sent to the companies.

"Until such time as they do so, we stop the 180-day clock for consideration of the above-referenced application," he said.

From SkyReport (Used with permission)
 
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