Dish Calls For Host of Comcast/NBCU Conditions

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Using words like "incestuous," "crippling" and "brute strength," Dish Network warned legislators in the House and Senate that the FCC and Justice Department need to put tough conditions on the Comcast/NBCU merger.

In letters to the head of the House Communications & Internet Subcommittee and Senate Antitrust Subcommittee, which are holding hearings on the deal Thursday (Feb. 4), the company said the merger should cause alarm and that it was a "perilous road" that "endangers" competition.

At a minimum, says Dish, the companies should be prevented from discriminating against competitive services in broadband content, provide wholesale rates to competitors who want to provide their own bundled services, and be required to offer stand-alone broadband--as opposed to bundled--with "robust" bandwidth.

But there's more: DISH says the companies should be prevented from "evading program access rules" by delivering affiliated content like broadcast channels over alternative means, like IP networks; should be required to submit to baseball style-arbitration of carriage impasses--including mandatory interim aggreements so content cannot be withheld; and b required to offer content to competitors on a stand-alone basis rather than bundled.

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