DirecTV Inc. distributor Pegasus Communications Corp. has filed suit against a retailer of EchoStar Communications Corp.'s satellite service for fraudulent
misrepresentation, as well as violations of state consumer-protection laws.
Pegasus charged that the dealer was using false information about the
possible EchoStar/DirecTV merger to convert DirecTV subscribers to EchoStar's Dish
network. The suit was filed in a Michigan state court and was joined by a
Pegasus customer who had converted to EchoStar.
"We will not tolerate fraudulent business practices by EchoStar dealers,"
Pegausus president Ted Lodge said. "Customers are being told that they have
no choice but to switch equipment and service because Dish Network is acquiring
the company, leaving only one service provider. This is false. It is unfair to
the consumer and illegal."
EchoStar itself has told the Federal Communications Commission, in response
to inquiries about dealer practices, that any claim that the merger will make
hardware obsolete or that there is any advantage to changing equipment is
"absolutely false and unacceptable."