NEW YORK – Even though EchoStar (DISH) has the "thumbs up" from GM, it still needs the nod from Washington.
This deal combines the nation's two biggest satellite TV companies — about 90 percent of the satellite market or 16 million customers. Of course, EchoStar says that's no problem for consumers.
"By putting these two companies together, we have a better chance of giving them ... better service," said Charlie Ergen, CEO of EchoStar.
But regulators may not agree. EchoStar is, after all, buying its biggest competitor, something that could spell monopoly.
"No government wants to see a monopoly created. No government wants to see their constituents lose choices, and they would be losing choices," said Bob Scherman, editor and publisher of Satellite Business News.
The FCC and Department of Justice must OK the deal and key lawmakers, including the chairman of the Senate Commerce Committee, have already raised a lot of questions about an EchoStar-DirecTV combo.
"Clearly, you put the two largest competitors together you will have a monopoly-like situation, but if they choose to view it as a competitive unit, I think they will pass the deal," said Michael Hodel, stock analyst for Morningstar.
But the agreement was only approved one day after early favorite Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., parent of Fox News, walked away from the bidding.
And even at the last minute, there were concerns about EchoStar's sweetened bid. The new company will have a lot of debt plus, the cost of converting DirecTV customers to Echostar's service.
So, even if EchoStar beats the odds and gets the deal past Washington regulators, Wall Street may still have problems with it.