CU slams cable

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Consumer Reports publisher the Consumers Union sent out an electronic mail Tuesday
slamming cable for price hikes and the Federal Communications Commission for
failing to "lift a finger to help consumers harmed by cable's monopolistic

Specifically, it criticized the commission for refusing to approve the
EchoStar Communications Corp./DirecTV Inc. merger or to grant Northpoint Technology Ltd. licenses for its terrestrial
service, which it said would have provided a "real challenge" to cable.

It dismissed cable arguments that its price increases cover costs of upgrades
or their increased programming costs, or that the increases are less than the
inflation rate, or that satellite already provides