Cox, Insight Slam News-Hughes Deal


Cox Communications Inc. and Insight Communications Co. Inc. slammed News
Corp.'s proposed merger with DirecTV Inc. parent Hughes Electronics Corp.,
saying that without "targeted conditions," the deal would produce an array of
competitive concerns, including higher cable- and satellite-TV rates.

The two cable companies called on the Federal Communications Commission to
craft merger conditions to stop News-Hughes from using ownership of TV stations,
a broadcast network, cable networks and direct-broadcast satellites to make less
powerful cable companies pay inflated prices for programming.

Cable companies Advance/Newhouse Communications and Cable One Inc. also
signed the FCC filing.

"Wielding this singularly potent array of content and distribution assets,
News Corp. will have the ability and incentive to raise programming costs to
consumers and damage competition in video-programming-distribution markets
nationwide," the MSOs said in a 73-page FCC filing Monday.