Ergen Says New Market Entrant Needed to Approve EchoStar/Hughes Deal
Wednesday October 9, 6:51 pm ET
By Christine Nuzum
Dow Jones Newswires
NEW YORK -- EchoStar Communications Corp. (NasdaqNM
ISH - News) and Hughes Electronics Corp. (NYSE:GMH - News) need to provide for a new entrant into the satellite-television market for regulators to approve their proposed $18 billion merger, EchoStar Chairman and Chief Executive Charles Ergen said.
The companies Monday proposed in a letter to the Federal Communications Commission to make unspecified structural changes to salvage their proposed combination, which is facing stiff government opposition. "Those structural changes have to include new entrants into the marketplace," Mr. Ergen said at SkyForum, a satellite-industry conference.
The regulatory concerns EchoStar has fielded are chiefly from the Department of Justice, he noted, while the company doesn't yet have a read on the stance of the FCC, whose approval is also required for the merger to pass. "Nobody's given any hints from the FCC one way or the other," he added.
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