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Kerry Urges Martin Not to Rubber-Stamp Sirius-XM Merger
Radio Online ^ | 04-03-08 | Radio Online

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)


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To: SpaceBar

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.


51 posted on 04/08/2008 9:04:45 AM PDT by threeleftsmakearight
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To: Spktyr

Why did the Dish/Directv merger fail? What was the difference between that case and XM/Sirius?


52 posted on 04/08/2008 9:14:18 AM PDT by Loyolas Mattman
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To: Loyolas Mattman

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.


53 posted on 04/08/2008 9:33:10 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: mak5; devane617; Malsua
Thanks everyone :-)

I kind of had a feeling this XM vs Sirius thing would happen. It reminded me of the old Betamax / VHS 'war'.

54 posted on 04/08/2008 9:45:39 AM PDT by Condor51 (I have guns in my nightstand because a Cop won't fit)
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To: 11th Commandment
This is the big yawn issue. Who cares about this merger. This is the twenty first century, consumers have choices: traditional radio; HD radio; Internet radio; radio on cell phones.....

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.

55 posted on 04/08/2008 10:04:49 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Often wrong, but never in doubt!)
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To: SpaceBar

Unless protected by the government, monopolies do not last. They are inherently inefficient and eventually fall to competition.


56 posted on 04/08/2008 10:12:06 AM PDT by waverna
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To: SpaceBar
They aren’t equal, thus only one satellite radio content provider is a monopoly.

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?

57 posted on 04/08/2008 10:12:27 AM PDT by pepsi_junkie (Often wrong, but never in doubt!)
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To: pepsi_junkie

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.


58 posted on 04/08/2008 10:20:12 AM PDT by biff
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To: pepsi_junkie

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.


59 posted on 04/08/2008 10:20:36 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: biff

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.


60 posted on 04/08/2008 10:21:28 AM PDT by Spktyr (Overwhelmingly superior firepower and the willingness to use it is the only proven peace solution.)
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To: onward_xtian_soldier

“And who cares if there’s not a place to listen to some obscure song from from Foghat or some eyeliner wearing punk rocker from Seattle that no one’s ever heard of?”

I care that I am able to listen to the Metropolitan Opera any time I want, or cooking classes, or a whole station of kids’ songs which keep my kids singing while I drive, or EWTN and 3 stations of gospel music and I’m willing to pay for it.


61 posted on 04/08/2008 10:31:28 AM PDT by keepitreal
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To: paltz
http://xmradio.mediaroom.com/index.php?s=press_releases&item=1589

Merger of SIRIUS and XM Attracts Support from Far and Wide

Consumers, Former FCC Chairmen, Members of Congress, Public Interest Groups, Diversity Organizations, Retail and Auto Companies, Religious Leaders and More Have All Voiced Support

WASHINGTON, DC and NEW YORK, NY – March 24, 2008 – Following the approval of their merger by the Department of Justice (DOJ), satellite radio companies XM Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: XMSR) and SIRIUS Satellite Radio (NASDAQ: SIRI), today highlighted the many organizations and individuals who have publicly endorsed their merger. They have all championed the lower prices and increased programming choices that the merger will afford consumers and have urged the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve the merger without delay.

Wide Range of Support

In a strong indication of the consumer benefits inherent in this transaction, the companies unveiled an array of new programming options, including two first-of-their-kind à la carte options where consumers can individually select the channels they wish to receive. A public opinion survey found that over 70% of voters thought the two new a la carte packages would be a good deal for consumers.

Since first announcing their intentions to merge, the public reaction to the merger of SIRIUS and XM has been staggering. Representatives from every possible stakeholder group in this debate have weighed-in supporting the merger: thousands unique public comments from consumers have been filed with the FCC; a number of Members of Congress from both political parties have urged approval; two former FCC Chairman and former FCC staff have voiced their support; leading car manufacturers have all indicated the consumer benefits inherent in the merger; the nation’s leading voices for minority audiences, including the NAACP and LULAC, have asked the FCC for approval; religious leaders and family values advocates, including Cardinal Egan and American Values, have also supported the merger.

Minority Interest Organizations:
• NAACP
• Second District of the African Methodist Episcopal Church
• Hispanic Federation
• Independent Women's Forum
• Latinos in Information Sciences and Technology Association (LISTA)
• League of United Latin American Citizens
• National Council of Women's Organizations
• National Latino Farmers and Ranchers
• New York State Federation of Hispanic Chambers of Commerce
• National Black Chamber of Commerce
• The Latino Coalition
• Women Impacting Public Policy
• Women Involved in Farm Economics

Corporations and Manufacturers:
• Chrysler
• Circuit City
• Crutchfield Corporation
• Ford Motor Company
• General Motors Corporation
• Harpo Productions
• Honda
• Hyundai
• Kia Motors America
• Loral Space & Communications
• NASCAR
• Oracle
• Toyota
• RadioShack

Think Tanks and Consumer Groups:
• 60 Plus Association
• American Association of People with Disabilities
• American Trucking Associations
• Americans for Prosperity
• Americans for Tax Reform
• American Values
• Citizens for Community Values (CCV)
• Club for Growth
• Competitive Enterprise Institute
• FamilyNet Radio
• Family Research Council
• Federation of Southern Cooperatives
• Intertribal Agriculture Council
• League of Rural Voters
• National Taxpayers Union
• Rural Coalition
• The Free State Foundation
• The Heritage Foundation
• Tennessee Conservative Union

Current and Former Public Officials, and Federal Regulators:
• Mayor Karl F. Dean of Nashville, TN
• Former Senator Bill Bradley
• Congressman Joe Baca
• Congressman Sanford Bishop
• Congressman Rick Boucher
• Congresswoman Corrine Brown
• Congresswoman Yvette Clarke
• Congressman Danny Davis
• Congressman Eliot Engel
• Congressman Bob Filner
• Congresswoman Virginia Foxx
• Congressman Ralph Hall
• Congressman Alcee Hastings
• Congressman Connie Mack
• Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney
• Congressman Ted Poe
• Congressman Bobby Rush
• Congressman Pete Sessions
• Congressman Ed Towns
• Congressman Anthony Weiner
• Reed Hundt, former FCC Chairman
• Harold Furchtgott-Roth, former FCC Commissioner
• Mark Fowler, former FCC Chairman
• Randolph J. May, former FCC Assistant General Counsel
• Thomas Hazlett, former FCC Chief Economist

What People Are Saying

Here are just a few examples, in their own words, of why they support the merger:

On Diverse Programming…
"We are convinced that the pending Sirius-XM merger will be a positive development for consumers – more diverse, accessible and appealing options at lower prices in satellite radio will help further expand the reach of this medium."
- Hillary O. Shelton, Director, NAACP

On Competition…
"I think that if XM and Sirius combined, it will be pro-competitive in all likelihood. It seems to me that there's no indication of any anticompetitive outcome if they do combine, so let's give them a chance to have a sharper point on the arrow and see if they can do better in terms of penetrating the listener audience.”
- Reed Hundt, former Chairman of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC)

On Greater Choices and Lower Prices…
"[SIRIUS and XM] have promised to offer consumers more choice at lower prices after the merger. Service offerings that let subscribers pay less would permit even more Americans to experience satellite radio.”
- Edward Cardinal Egan, Archbishop of New York

On Innovation…
"More broadly, this merger proposes to combine two small players in the audio entertainment market. As a result, the merger will bring greater vitality and financial resources to this upstart technology. Allowing this to happen will, in turn, spark a new generation of services and products with more advanced and user-friendly features. Consumers, of course, will be better off as a result."
- Julian C. Day, Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, RadioShack

On Benefits to Consumers…
“General Motors believes the proposed merger is and will be in the public interest because the merged company will be able to offer consumers expanded programming choices and a broad range of service packages, including packages at lower prices.”
- Richard M. Lee, Executive Director of Satellite Radio Services, General Motors

On the Audio Entertainment Marketplace…
“The relevant market for competition purposes is the entire marketplace for audio entertainment, including terrestrial radio, Internet radio and Internet-protocol enabled applications. The relevant market clearly includes all of terrestrial radio, as evidenced by repeated statements by leading broadcast companies that they are in competition with satellite radio.”
- Congressman Rick Boucher (D-VA)

For more information on the SIRIUS-XM merger, please visit www.SIRIUSmerger.com or www.XMmerger.com .

###

About SIRIUS

SIRIUS, “The Best Radio on Radio,” delivers more than 130 channels of the best programming in all of radio. SIRIUS is the original and only home of 100% commercial free music channels in satellite radio, offering 69 music channels. SIRIUS also delivers 65 channels of sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic, weather and data. SIRIUS is the Official Satellite Radio Partner of the NFL, NASCAR and NBA, and broadcasts live play-by-play games of the NFL and NBA, as well as live NASCAR races. All SIRIUS programming is available for a monthly subscription fee of only $12.95.

SIRIUS Internet Radio (SIR) is an Internet-only version of the SIRIUS radio service, without the use of a radio, for the monthly subscription fee of $12.95. SIR delivers more than 80 channels of talk, entertainment, sports, and 100% commercial free music.

SIRIUS Backseat TV™ is the first ever live in-vehicle rear seat entertainment featuring three channels of children’s TV programming, including Nickelodeon, Disney Channel and Cartoon Network, for the subscription fee of $6.99 plus applicable audio subscription fee.
SIRIUS products for the car, truck, home, RV and boat are available in more than 20,000 retail locations, including Best Buy, Circuit City, Crutchfield, Costco, Target, Wal-Mart, Sam's Club, RadioShack and at shop.sirius.com.
SIRIUS radios are offered in vehicles from Audi, Bentley, BMW, Chrysler, Dodge, Ford, Infiniti, Jaguar, Jeep®, Land Rover, Lexus, Lincoln, Mercury, Maybach, Mazda, Mercedes-Benz, MINI, Mitsubishi, Nissan, Rolls Royce, Scion, Toyota, Volkswagen, and Volvo. Hertz also offers SIRIUS in its rental cars at major locations around the country.

62 posted on 04/08/2008 10:58:56 AM PDT by paltz
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To: pepsi_junkie
That's an interesting question. My answer: A monopoly isn't a state of one provider without context. It's a state of one provider with a distinct history of anti-competitive behavior that allowed that monopoly to come into existence in the first place. Mergers are one such avenue, and why the government oversees them. So my answer would be "no", if one company fell by the wayside on a fair economic playing field, then a sole survivor wouldn't be a monopoly nor should it be subject to governmental anti-monopolistic intervention or punished simply for having good business sense.
63 posted on 04/08/2008 11:01:52 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: keepitreal

The Met channel is killer, isn’t it?


64 posted on 04/08/2008 11:16:26 AM PDT by Loyolas Mattman
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To: Loyolas Mattman

“The Met channel is killer, isn’t it?”

The BEST!!


65 posted on 04/08/2008 11:20:39 AM PDT by keepitreal
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To: SpaceBar

Where is the anti-competitive behavior on the part of XM or Sirius?

I don’t think XM is going to put a laser on top of their headquarters to shoot a new rival’s birds out of the sky.

Just because it’s impractical to start a competing business doesn’t make it a monopoly.


66 posted on 04/08/2008 11:21:30 AM PDT by Loyolas Mattman
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To: SpaceBar

SpaceBar, Do you work in the radio business? nab, radio,etc?


67 posted on 04/08/2008 11:31:21 AM PDT by devane617 (My Kharma Ran Over Your Dogma)
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To: SpaceBar

Considering all the major conservative think tank scholars disagree with your analysis, I,m willing to bet their logic on this matter more than yours.


68 posted on 04/08/2008 11:41:32 AM PDT by paltz
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To: devane617
SpaceBar, Do you work in the radio business?

No I do not. Not in any capacity. Nor do I have any pecuniary interest in it. I simply piped up because I heard about this merger thing being discussed last week and something about it just didn't smell right.
69 posted on 04/08/2008 11:48:59 AM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: paltz

Well, I don’t belong to a major conservative think tank, nor do I profess to be an expert on the subject. I merely have my lay opinion on this subject, and expected to enter a discussion with adults, be they in agreement or not. But if you feel the need to appeal to authority with a condescending tone, and it makes you feel better, so be it.


70 posted on 04/08/2008 12:21:58 PM PDT by SpaceBar
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To: SpaceBar

This is an issue of facts and research...none of which you have supplied in your “lay opinion”


71 posted on 04/08/2008 1:02:40 PM PDT by paltz
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To: martin_fierro; paltz; Charles Henrickson
&

Now THAT would be a vey interesting merger...

72 posted on 04/08/2008 1:29:31 PM PDT by mikrofon (Stuning)
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To: mikrofon

Isn’t Hughes with XM? XM comes with Directv.

Sirius is with Dish, but that’s probably a side agreement of some sort.


73 posted on 04/08/2008 3:15:24 PM PDT by Loyolas Mattman
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