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NRTC Merger Letter Urges Customer Action

The National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative has sent a letter to its customers urging them to contact lawmakers in Washington, D.C., to voice their concern about the pending $26 billion merger between DirecTV and EchoStar.

The NRTC, which sells DirecTV in rural areas, told its subscribers that the merger "would result in a monopoly and create a lack of satellite television and broadband competition in rural America." The letter also said several prominent economists suggest the DBS combination would "result in higher prices, lesser service and fewer choices for your family."

The letter adds, "we want to help you protect your right to high-quality, competitive satellite services."

It's unclear when the letters were sent, but several recipients said they have recently received their copies.

The merger is still before the Justice Department's antitrust officials and the Federal Communications Commission. Earlier in the month, the FCC suspended its review of the merger, citing the need for information on the companies' operations in order to complete its inquiry.

Reposted from SKYREPORT Used with Permission
 

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I find it interesting that the NRTC which is a monopolistic organization is against a monopolistic move on the part of Echostar.

The NRTC controls vast areas of rural America when it comes to providing DirecTV service. It also adds it's own fees on top of the costs of DirecTV services, & equipment. In other words if you are stuck in a NRTC area you have to get your DirecTV service from Pegasus (aka NRTC).

This means you can only purchase your equipment, & installation from NRTC approved dealers. If fact if you try to order equipment from online dealers, once they find out you live in a NRTC area, there is a good chance they will refuse to sell you that receiver you want.

Now, Echostar/Dish Network has no such arrangement with the NRTC. Currently those that live in NRTC territory can purchase Dish services, & equipment the same way as any one who lives in cities, & non NRTC areas.

I remember Charlie mentioned in one of the Chats late last year that in some rural areas the Dish Network brand would continued to be used. I suspect he was speaking of the NRTC controlled areas.

Now if this is so it would present a problem for the NRTC. Since DirecTV & Dish after the merger will eventually be offering the exact same programming with the same type of equipment, there will be no reason for rural residents to seek their programming from the NRTC. They would just go with the Dish brand at a cheaper rate. This is why I believe that the NRTC is so against the merger. :)
 

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I still think a condition of the merger should be wholesaling of service of the merged company to another provider. The NRTC would be a obvious choice and this would calm anti competive issues while allowing all the good the merger will bring.

I am SURE its charlies fall back position:)

Provide some barker channels, a distribition path, and wholesale pricing to the NRTC and let them COMPETE nationwide....
 

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Originally posted by Scott Greczkowski
The letter also said several prominent economists suggest the DBS combination would "result in higher prices, lesser service and fewer choices for your family."
Umm I ALREADY get that now with Pegasus, an NRTC member. This kinda of crap from the NRTC just makes me angry. Their biggest member already charges MORE than Directv, for the same service, plus I get worse service and fewer choices, especially in the hardware area.
 
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