DISH Calls For Host of Comcast/NBCU Conditions

Network warns that merger endangers competition

Using words like "incestuous,"
"crippling" and "brute strength," DISH Network warned
legislators in the House and Senate that the FCC and Justice Department need to
put tough conditions on the Comcast/NBCU merger.

In letters to the head of the House Communications &
Internet Subcommittee and Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, which are holding
hearings on the deal Thursday (Feb. 4), the company said the merger should
cause alarm and that it was a "perilous road" that
"endangers" competition.

At a minimum, says DISH, the companies should be prevented
from discriminating against competitive services in broadband content, provide
wholesale rates to competitors who want to provide their own bundled services,
and be required to offer stand-alone broadband--as opposed to bundled--with
"robust" bandwidth.

DISH says the companies should be prevented from
"evading program access rules" by delivering affiliated content like
broadcast channels over alternative means, like IP networks and should be
required to submit to baseball-style arbitration of carriage impasses--including
mandatory interim agreements so content cannot be withheld; and required to
offer content to competitors on a stand-alone basis rather than bundled.