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Pegasus Communications' DBS subsidiary, Pegasus Satellite Television, filed a lawsuit in Michigan as part of its efforts to combat alleged fraudulent business practices by dealers of EchoStar's DISH Network, the company said in a statement.

Pegasus filed the suit in state court in Michigan against an EchoStar retailer engaged in alleged converting of Pegasus subscribers from DirecTV to DISH Network using false information about Pegasus and the status of the proposed merger between DirecTV and EchoStar. The complaint seeks relief for nine counts, including fraudulent misrepresentation and violation of various state consumer protection and advertising laws, Pegasus said.

Pegasus didn't release the name of the Michigan retailer in its statement. In addition, EchoStar itself is not mentioned as being involved in the litigation. An EchoStar spokesman said the company has not been able to review the suit since it's not filed against the company.

In a Federal Communications Commission letter filed earlier this week, Pegasus said it would begin instituting a series of lawsuits against retailers this week concerning its sales practices complaints.

A Pegasus subscriber who was converted by the EchoStar dealer to DISH Network has also joined the lawsuit. In the past few weeks, Pegasus has alleged at the FCC that a number of DISH Network retailers are telling Pegasus' DirecTV subscribers that they must switch to DISH due to the merger.

Said Pegasus President Ted Lodge, "Customers are being told that they have no choice but to switch equipment and service because DISH Network is acquiring the company, leaving only one service provider. This is false. It is unfair to the consumer and illegal to convert consumers based upon fraudulent and deceptive information."

Pegasus said it has alerted subscribers and state attorneys general about the practices, and added that intends to take action to hold dealers engaging in the fraudulent business practices accountable. In the past, EchoStar has asked its retailers to stop engaging in the alleged sales practices.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
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