Caucus seeks DBS-merger concessions

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Nearly 90 members of Congress asked the Department of Justice and the Federal
Communications Commission Wednesday to attach concessions to any approval of
EchoStar Communications Corp.'s purchase of Hughes Electronics Corp. and its
DirecTV Inc. subsidiary.

'We believe that strictly enforced consumer safeguards regarding price,
quality and access to vital telecommunications services must be part of any
merger approval between EchoStar and Hughes,' wrote members of the Congressional
Rural Caucus.

'Rural consumers have been left behind in the wake of the communications
revolution with respect to access and pricing of telecommunications services for
too long,' the CRC added.

EchoStar CEO Charlie Ergen told Congress last month that he would be willing
to accept concessions in order to gain government approval for the
merger.

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