FCC Says No to Satellite Radio Merger

If you've been following the news over the last few months, you've probably noticed a few articles analyzing, speculating or simply spreading rumours regarding a merger between Sirius and XM Radio. Leave all the non-facts behind and focus on the present. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin publically announced that the FCC has decided not to approve a merger between these two satellite radio rivals.

The obstacle comes not from 2007, but nearly decade ago, in 1997. When the FCC initially licensed the two companies, there was language in the licensing barring one from acquiring control of the other. Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin must be heartbroken; he has often publically announced how dearly he would love a merger. In November 2006, Karmazin seriously believed that a merger would financially benefit both companies.

Even if the FCC changed their mind regarding the merger between Sirius and XM Radio, it would still have to pass antitrust scrutiny by the Department of Justice. But don't despair. This may be a good thing; we all know how terrible a lack of competition can be for consumers.

News source: Ars Technica

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11 Comments

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I have not heard XM executives saying anything about merging. It is the CEO of Sirius that keeps saying he thinks it would benefit both groups to merge. The only benefit would be to him. His company would double in subscribers instantly. Plus current subs would probably need to buy new radios since both companies use different technologies. I am an XM subscriber and I personally see no benefit to me for merging. I would like to hear NFL and NBA games, but I do enjoy the music channels (non Clear Channel ones).

I still dont get how they say XM radio is commercial free. I've had it for about 2 months now, and I hear commercials all the fricking time.

I was actually hoping for a merger since I like XM, but Sirius has all those football (do they have nba as well?) channels while im stuck with baseball play by play

All of XM's music channels are commercial free (read: not clearchannel's ones). I'm not sure where you read it was 100% commercial free. XM sure didn't say that.

The main reason I went to XM (or any sat radio) was the local market plays the SAME COMMERCIALS over and over
along with the same songs over and over. At least with a sat radio, music wise, I have NO commercials, plus, I can
put my favorite artists in the memory and have it let me know if they are on somewhere.
The no commercials aspect of sat radio was my main draw.
A side benefit is when I travel to visit my parents, a 3 hour drive, I can listen to the evening news, weather etc...

Well this is sort of good news, I have XM, I had Sirius for a couple of weeks and got rid of it, because the sound quality was pretty poor compared to XM, My XM sub expires in the spring I'm still trying to decide if I will renew it or not, If XM would play a more variety of music from more artists I'd sign up for another year at least.

But if they merged with FCC aproval and Antitrust, then whats to stop DirecTv & Dish from merging , the FCC also denied their merger few years ago.

"In November 2006, Karmazin seriously believed that a merger would financially benefit both companies."

yes by monopolizing the satellite radio market.

adversedeviant said,
"In November 2006, Karmazin seriously believed that a merger would financially benefit both companies."

yes by monopolizing the satellite radio market.

that's exactly what I was going to say until I saw you comment... all that would happen is the cost would sky rocket...