Sky Wars: The Attempted Merger of Dish/DirecTV

Presentation to the Merger Analysis in High-Tech Markets Conference, 2008.  Richard J. Gilbert, Professor of Economics, UC Berkeley.

A High Tech Merger? Relatively new product: High Power Direct Broadcast Satellite TV. DirecTV launched 1994. EchoStar/Dish launched 1996. Large claimed efficiencies. Platform issues. Incompatible encryption formats. Dynamic platform competition. Installed base pricing incentives.  Analytical Approach: Roughly similar approach by parties and DOJ. Focus on substitution (diversion) rather than market definition. Some consideration of installed base pricing incentives. Some consideration of platform competition. Otherwise, not very different from merger analysis for low-tech markets.

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