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While regulators continue to take their look at the pending $26 billion merger between EchoStar and DirecTV, the companies are boasting about the support they are receiving from lawmakers and others concerning the transaction.

An eight-page document sent this week by the companies listed Capitol Hill lawmakers and their statements of support for the deal. The opinions of support varied widely, from House Majority Leader Dick Armey, a Republican from Texas, to Massachusetts Democrat Barney Frank.

In his statement of support, Armey said a combined DBS platform would provide more services, including expanded HDTV, pay-per-view, high-speed Internet access and video-on-demand. Frank said the deal would provide more competition to cable, which he said is "acting as a de facto monopoly in most places. Consumers deserve a competitive alternative, and I believe a combined DBS provider would be just that."

Other supporters included Sens. Max Cleland (D-Ga.) and Bob Smith (R-N.H.), and Reps. Sam Graves (R-Mo.), Rick Boucher (D-Va.), Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), William Jefferson (D-La.), Bob Shaffer (R-Colo.), and Tom Tancredo (R-Colo.). Numerous governors, organizations and others were listed as well in the document.

While some support has surfaced for the merger, there is still some opposition to the deal. A number of lawmakers have expressed concerns with the transaction. A small working group of state attorneys general are working in an information gathering effort along with the Justice Department as part of a look at the transaction, though the group hasn't formally said if it would fight the deal.

From SkyReport (Used with Permission)
 
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