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...The day the deal was announced, Scott C. Cleland, chief executive of the Precursor Group, an independent research firm in Washington, estimated that there was about a one in three chance that the merger would go through.
"Now, I think that there is less than a one-in-three chance," Mr. Cleland said yesterday. "This is not a close call. It's over the line of almost any traditional antitrust analysis."
So far, the few parties speaking out in favor of the merger are EchoStar and DirecTV's corporate parent, Hughes Electronics.... nytimes.com
Now you know why Murdoch stopped bidding. The deal is toast.
btw, this can't help:
....Helping spread EchoStar's view is David Boies, the lawyer who argued the government's case against Microsoft (news/quote) and the Gore campaign's losing cause in the 2000 presidential election ballot dispute in Florida. EchoStar has also hired at least two former deputy chiefs of staff from the Clinton White House, Maria Echaveste and Steve Ricchetti....
Like I mentioned in the email, I think Murdoch will make quick work of DISH. He controls too much content. If Disney hates DISH, that also helps end DISH. It will be difficult going after Murdoch because there are too many ways to disguise the attacks.
It's a shame we lost all the other satellite players back in the early 90's recession (thanks AG). Each recession brings more consolidation.
Zoltan, I cannot access the article since I don't subscribe to the NYTimes.
Ergen doesn't seem to be helping himself -- taking on Disney (Business Week had a good article on this a couple of weeks ago) and failing to offer all required local channels without a second dish didn't help.
If we consider DTV and Echostar to be part of the overall Cable/Satellite market place, then Ergen has a strong argument (GM bought it) that the combined company would *not* be a monopoly. Uniform pricing plans also seem to address any rural issues.
I still think that the deal is at least 50/50. I would feel better about the deal if I saw progress on the lobbying and marketing front. To date, I haven't seen any real victories for Ergen in this area.