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Satellite Firms Ask For Delay On Merger Decision

10/08/2002 10:29:00 AM Eastern

Washington, D.C. - In a last minute attempt to avert an anticipated negative ruling, EchoStar has asked the Federal Communications Commission for a delay in its decision on EchoStar's proposed merger with DirecTV.

Charlie Ergen, EchoStar CEO, sent an urgent letter to Federal Communications Commission Chairman Michael Powell asking that the commission consider additional matters, and stage a public hearing, before announcing a decision on the merger.

In the letter, both EchoStar and DirecTV asked the FCC to wait until the satellite providers had concluded new talks with the Department of Justice on possible structural revisions that could remedy some areas of concern in the proposal.

The companies plan to next meet with the DOJ on October 28. The letter didn't provide specific revisions the satellite concerns plan to address.

Last week, Powell reportedly said the commission was just days away from releasing a decision. That ruling was expected to be negative.