CEI’s Comments Before The FCC On The EchoStar Case

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The proposed merger of EchoStar and DIRECTV should be approved because it is precisely such a free market solution to the continuing problems of television competition and broadband deployment.

Indeed, it is impossible to think of a serious argument against the merger. The combined company will have a 17 percent market share versus the 80 percent share of cable. To argue that satellite transmission is a separate market is ridiculous, considering that the two modes are competing strongly against each other for the same customers, and offering similar products.

The only viewers who might be disadvantaged are rural customers of satellites who do not have access to cable, and this problem has been resolved by commitments to give these customers the benefits of the prices created by competition in other parts of the nation.