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Advanced orbits dish merger review

Advanced Communications is asking the FCC to include its effort to reopen a 1995 FCC decision stripping the company of DBS spectrum be in any agency hearing on the EchoStar/DirecTV merger.

In April, Advanced petitioned the Federal Communications Commission to reopen its spectrum-allocation case in light of new evidence.

The move came after former commissioners James Quello and Andrew Barrett -- the no votes in a 3-2 decision to strip the spectrum -- provided signed affidavits saying "at least one" of the three commissioners admitted to voting for reclamation simply to generate federal revenue from a subsequent auction.

They said that motivation makes the decision illegal.

Spectrum licensed to Advanced is now held by EchoStar.

The petition to reopen Advanced's case is still pending.

Last week Advanced filed a second petition to have its case added to a possible hearing on EchoStar's bid to buy its DBS rival.

The FCC in early October rejected the merger, a move that requires EchoStar to argue its case before an agency administrative judge.

The company has not decided whether to submit to the potentially time consuming and costly proceeding.

In late October the Justice Department also rejected the merger bid.