Hispanic lawmakers question EchoStar, DirecTV deal

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Three Hispanic lawmakers are questioning whether the proposed merger of
EchoStar Communications Corp. and DirecTV Inc. will "adversely impact" the
market for Spanish-language programming.

"Hispanic consumers and under-served areas would be placed at the discretion
of the monopoly in terms of pricing and service decisions," wrote Reps. Henry
Bonilla, R-Texas, Lincoln Diaz-Balart, R-Fla., Ileana Ros-Lehtinen, R-Fla. in a
July 16 letter to the heads of the Federal Communications Commission and the
Justice Department.

The lawmakers did not oppose the merger directly but called on FCC Chairman
Michael Powell and Attorney General John Ashcroft to conduct a "through
investigation" of the merger to ensure it will not be contrary to the public
interest.

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