Revenue: $4 billion
Loss: $216 million
No. 2 satcaster EchoStar Communications and its leader Charlie Ergen have spent most of the past year in a stationary orbit as it tries to convince skeptical lawmakers and regulators to clear its $26 billion merger with Hughes Communications.
The controversial deal would create an 18 million-subscriber behemoth, effectively reducing the direct broadcast satellite television market to one dominant player. For many pols, that’s a frightening decline in competition, and a big loss for consumers. And as the odds of success for the satcasting tie-up continue to wane, EchoStar’s investors have been losing patience. After trading around $30 as recently as this spring, the company’s stock drifted down to as low as $13 in July.