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FCC blocks Echostar-DirecTV merger
Posted: Fri, Oct 11, 2002, 8:45 AM ET (1245 GMT)
The FCC moved Thursday to block Echostar's proposal to merge with DirecTV, forcing the companies to either substantially revise their merger plans or drop them altogether. FCC commissioners ruled unanimously to refer the merger for a more detailed administrative review, a procedure that would, in effect, block the merger in its current form. The FCC concluded that the merger, either in its present form or in a modified form proposed by the companies earlier this week, "would have us replace a vibrant competitive market with a regulated monopoly," in the words of FCC chairman Michael Powell. The companies have 30 days to amend their application, and officials with the companies said they would do so. The companies had hoped that the FCC would delay their ruling until Echostar executives met later this month with antitrust regulators at the Justice Department.
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