Shooting Down A Satellite Deal

THEY'RE CELEBRATING AT THE headquarters of satellite companies DirecTV and EchoStar. Why the party? The Justice Dept. on May 12 filed suit to block cable-controlled Primestar's planned purchase of a satellite slot owned by MCI and News Corp. Under the deal, Primestar would have gotten a prize satellite slot controlled by News Corp. and MCI Communications for its expanded direct satellite offerings. But Justice said the combination would give cable giants--including TCI and Time Warner, which control Primestar--undue power. Primestar vows to fight the suit, and it's going ahead with a planned $400 million bond deal to fund expansion.

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