The satellite merger should be approved only if the deal passes antitrust scrutiny and only if the commission imposes conditions “that will result in greater program diversity, increase consumer choice and keep prices in check.”
That’s what the group Public Knowledge said in its filing.
The conditions Public Knowledge recommends are that the company supplies consumers with pricing choices such as a la carte or tiered programming; it makes 5% of its capacity available to non-commercial educational and informational programming over which it has no editorial control; and the new company does not raise prices for three years after the merger is approved.
Public Knowledge also there should be “no conditions imposed on the merger that would limit the ability of the satellite companies to offer local programming or would limit the ability of consumers to record songs from the services.”
President and co-founder Gigi Sohn says that when the merger of satellite TV rivals was denied, “the separate companies were unable to provide a competitive check on the rise of cable rates.”
Public Knowledge describes itself as a public-interest advocacy and education organization.