FCC slams EchoStar

The FCC on Monday delivered a sharp rebuke to EchoStar Communications Corp., saying the direct broadcast satellite company had "abused" its processes and "failed in its duty of candor to the commission."

The FCC has been mediating a fight between EchoStar and Young Broadcasting. EchoStar wants to carry Young Broadcasting's local TV stations in Nashville and San Francisco, but the two companies cannot agree on terms. While the two companies were battling out the matter, EchoStar asked the FCC to treat 20 out of 22 of the documents it has filed as confidential. Concurrently, EchoStar publicly disclosed much of that information on its program, Charlie Chat, in which EchoStar Chairman Charlie Ergen addresses subscribers.

Young Broadcasting complained that broadcast violated the request, and the FCC agreed that EchoStar acted in bad faith, although it granted EchoStar's request to keep some of the filed information confidential. "We admonish EchoStar for this abuse of process and caution EchoStar to take greater care with regard to future filings of this type," the FCC wrote. - Paige Albiniak