Ergen: DBS Merger Avoids Cable Rereg


Charlie Ergen, chairman and CEO of EchoStar Communications Corp., is pitching
a new idea in support of his merger with DirecTV Inc. parent Hughes Electronics

Without the merger, Ergen said, the direct-broadcast satellite industry will
lose significant ground to the cable industry and cause Congress to consider
reregulation of cable rates.

'DBS will not have the local channels to compete in rural America or the
broadband services to compete in the cities. This will lead to calls for
reregulating cable rates -- precisely the opposite outcome that was espoused by
policymakers,' Ergen said in a speech to the Federal Communications Bar

Ergen plugged the deal as the best hope of establishing nationwide
competition with cable operators for digital-TV and broadband Internet-access

The courts and the Federal Communications Commission are likely going to
allow greater consolidation within and between the cable and broadcasting
industries, and the DBS industry should be allowed to concentrate its resources
to match the increased power of its rivals, he said.

'DBS must be allowed to follow suit to remain competitive,' Ergen