NAB consolidates opposition to EchoStar merger


The heads of six associations sent Congress a letter Friday listing all of
the groups that are opposed to EchoStar Communications Corp.'s proposed $26
billion merger with Hughes Electronics Corp. and its DirecTV Inc.

'The attached list of consumer organizations, broadcasting entities,
environmental groups, satellite operators, cable entities, unions and public
officials who have all openly opposed the merger demonstrates that allowing a
DBS [direct-broadcast satellite] monopoly would negatively impact businesses,
rural interests, labor interests, telecommunications industries and, most of
all, consumers,' the group wrote.

Signing the letter were Albert Foer, president of the American Antitrust
Institute; Eddie Fritts, president of the National Association of Broadcasters;
Jeff Blum, executive director of USAction; Bob Phillips, president of the
National Rural Telecommunications Cooperative; Glenn English, CEO of the
National Rural Electric Cooperative Association; and Matthew Polka, president of
the American Cable Association.

The letter includes a list of 33 organizations, some of which are completely
opposed to the plan, while others want conditions attached to any approval.

The list includes the six signers and others, such as the Communications
Workers of America, National Grange and the Writers Guild of