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A number of senators wrote Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell and Attorney General John Ashcroft on the pending merger between EchoStar and DirecTV, saying the agencies need to carefully scrutinize the proposed combination.

In their letter, the senators said they are happy to see the merger applicants "recognize the importance of serving all 210 TV markets, but this pledge causes concern in light of the applicants' legal efforts to overturn the law requiring carriage of all local channels in a market."

They also fretted about the merger's impact on rural TV viewers. "Millions of consumers in rural America have no access to cable or DSL services and rely on satellite television for both their multichannel video programming and for Internet service. The rural consumers who presently have a choice between two very competitive satellite providers could be subjected to monopolistic practices if the merger is approved."

Senators signing the letter include Max Baucus of Montana, Charles Grassley of Iowa, Russ Feingold of Wisconsin, Ron Wyden of Oregon and Paul Wellstone of Minnesota.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 

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Why can't the FCC and / or DOJ make it a requirement that Dish Network and DirecTV sign a contract stating all that they would do and the time frame to do it so that they CAN'T back out of any of the promises and proposals they've made?
 
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