FCC Seeks Public Comment On Satellite Radio Merger

The Federal Communications Commission has issued a notice asking for members of the public to voice their opinions on whether Sirius and XM, USA's two satellite radio broadcasters, should be allowed to merge. The combined assets of the two media players were valued at approximately $4.7 million when the deal was first announced last February. The FCC now has less than 180 days to decide whether to approve the proposed merger, placing the deadline sometime in December of this year.

The Department of Justice must also add its approval for the deal to proceed; the DOJ is charged with assessing whether the merger would result in an illegal monopoly. The two original satellite broadcast licenses granted to XM and Sirius by the FCC 10 years ago expressly stipulated that no single licensee would be "permitted to acquire control" of both licenses. The deadline for interested parties to file comments, or petitions to deny the merger, is July 9, 2007.

View: FCC's Online Form
News source: DailyTech

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If you want to know what happens when a company believes that it has no competition, you don't have to look any further than Intel:

Until a couple of years ago, Intel doled out processor and chipset improvements at its own (slow) pace because it didn't really think it had any competition. Most of us lined up at the beggar's table and took what Intel gave us because we didn't really believe that we had any other options. And we paid premium prices for those handouts to boot!

But once AMD showed that it could and would compete – and started taking a serious bite out of Intel's market share – Intel went ballistic on improving its products and getting them to market in a big hurry. Those Core™ 2 processors that so many people are now buying (at reasonable prices) almost certainly wouldn't be available today if it weren't for direct competition from AMD.

As for this satellite merger, to believe that any one company will continue to do right by its customers once it has complete ownership of an entire industry is at best naive and not justified historically. Allowing these kinds of mergers to happen is just not a good idea.

Yeah but it's great if you already have it with DirecTV (you don't pay extra for XM). I would love to have it in my car simply because the selection they offer for each channel is absolutely amazing.

Public comment: Let them merge, or don't, I don't care since anything interesting from there comes on torrents anyway (Howard Stern e.g.). ha

one of the cores of capitalism is competition, if theres only one product/service provider for a given field they can increase their price and decrease their quality as mcuh as they want. as much as they suck apart having them together would screw us over sooner or later.

I've been an XM subscriber for a year and a half now and I really haven't seen any decline in service at all during that time. For some reason they're playing a lot of U2 (god I hate U2) but aside from that, nothing. Either the service is different up here in Canada or I think people are just fishing for excuses to leave.

Personally, I want to see the two merge. More satellites = less dropped signals in downtown and around the hospital for me.

why has it taken so long to figure this out? other mergers of much larger, more important companies have taken less than 30 days.

Don't let them merge. It's a disaster waiting to happen. The quality of XM's service has diminished month by month and if they no longer have competition they wont feel the need to fix their service. I'm a current subscriber and it has been a bumpy ride the last couple of months.

Then leave the service. The merger could offer twice the bandwidth and allow them to consolidate channels. Personally, I think the quality of music (bit rate) is strained, yet the playlists are getting better.

betasp said,
Then leave the service. The merger could offer twice the bandwidth and allow them to consolidate channels. Personally, I think the quality of music (bit rate) is strained, yet the playlists are getting better.

Maybe in the short run the merger would offer twice the bandwidth... however, in the long run two competing companies would result in two services of higher and higher quality than a single service that has no competition.