Skip to comments.Kerry Urges Martin Not to Rubber-Stamp Sirius-XM Merger
Posted on 04/08/2008 7:11:05 AM PDT by paltz
Senator John Kerry (D-MA) is urging FCC Chairman Kevin Martin not to follow the DOJ's lead and "rubber-stamp" the approval of the proposed Sirius-XM Satellite Radio merger. In a letter to Martin last week, Kerry said that, if approved, the merger must contain conditions to prohibit the partnership of "exercising monopolistic powers" that could result in "diminished service at increased rates."
"While the Department of Justice has found that 'the evidence does not demonstrate that the proposed merger of XM and Sirius is likely to substantially lessen competition,' serious concerns remain as to how this merger will impact consumers if it is permitted to go forward," Kerry wrote.
He also noted that the Commission's 1997 order establishing the Satellite Digital Audio Radio Service (DARS) prohibits a merger of the two satcasters. And to move forward,he wrote, would seem to "directly contradict the intent of the Commission in establishing this service." (04-03-08)
Correct. The ‘commercial-free’ statement is very important. It is at the root of this deal. Traditional radio has built a model on advertising that if undone will cause the industry to collapse, radio and advertising agencies. We heard these arguments from traditional media back when cable-tv was beginning. How many people do you know that does not have sat-tv or cable-tv. The NAB is attempting to kill Sat radio in the same manner.
My opinion is obviously at odds with yours, so you seek to discount my credibility? Do I now need to have a womb to comment on threads about right to life issues according to your litmus test?
That’s actually a ridiculous and glib analogy.
Nobody's holding a gun to a consumer's head and forcing him or her to get all of their audio entertainment from satellite radio. If XM and Sirius merge, terrestrial radio, iPods, etc. are going nowhere; all will compete for the consumer's ears. Where's the monopoly?
Even if this merger is allowed, there is still other competition in the “radio” field, most of which is actually free to the customer. Yes, that’s right, pay radio (satellite) is successfully competing with “free”. There’s regular radio, there’s HD radio, there’s satellite radio, and there’s internet radio. There are also now ‘radio’ services for cell phones. There’s also time-delayed ‘radio’ in the form of podcasts.
Your scenario doesn’t hold water. What you are suggesting is that GM shouldn’t have bought SAAB because that reduced the number of “Swedish designed automobiles” on the US market.
We also heard these same arguments from broadcast TV back when satellite TV was cranking up.
Not at all, in fact it’s quite appropriate. The comment it was in response to an implication that all audio content was essentially equivalent, which it is not. Satellite radio has a number of technical advantages over terrestrial radio, as do cars over horses. They aren’t equal, thus only one satellite radio content provider is a monopoly.
I detect that you are hostile toward satellite radio.
I can only guess as to why. You probably have a problem with Howard Stern or some other percieved leftist bent to it. I would suggest you not reduce the whole medium to that view. Look at the bigger picture.
Not to mention that satellite radio may be the only outlet for true conservative viewpoints being aired.
Almost by definition you can’t have a monopoly on a non-essential good.
Love it as much as I do, satrad is a luxury good.
If it went away, I would just switch to listening my iPod full time.
How is an iPod not a competitor to, or a substitute for, satrad?
First off, I’ve never even had a drop of coffee, cafeinnated or otherwise. How dare you?!
Second, your whole argument is off base. There can’t be a monopoly for an product that isn’t necessary.
Third, based on the fact that you are frankly wrong on the issue, you should acquiesce and admit it. Don’t feel bad, sometimes people are wrong, it’s your turn to be wrong and you should come to grips with it.
Why did the Dish/Directv merger fail? What was the difference between that case and XM/Sirius?
There are vast swaths of the country that are not served by Cable TV and only marginally by broadcast. Satellite TV is the only option for those people. That’s why.
However, audio-only radio is a different matter entirely. There are few places in the US that you cannot get at least AM radio stations.
I kind of had a feeling this XM vs Sirius thing would happen. It reminded me of the old Betamax / VHS 'war'.
The RIAA is trying to kill internet radio off, and if this merger doesnt go through Satellite radio will probably tank. Choices are narrowing thanks to the special interest lobbies that want us to live like it was still the 1960s.
Unless protected by the government, monopolies do not last. They are inherently inefficient and eventually fall to competition.
So what if the merger is blocked and, say, XM goes out of business. Now Sirius is the only provider of Sat Radio, and thus by your definition a monopoly. So should the government step in and dismantle them?
How about doing it the old fashioned way: last company standing buys the loser in bankruptcy for pennies on the dollar? That way all the execs and brokers do not make millions in fees and parachutes. Helps get rid of the chaffe.
And don’t forget that XM going out of biz instead of merging (in your scenario) means that a lot of people suddenly have pieces of electronics that are totally useless.
Except that would also be blocked by the FCC. IIRC, if the FCC said “no merger”, you can’t even buy the assets at a bankruptcy sale.