Senator Wants XM-Sirius Deal Blocked

Senator Byron Dorgan, a high-ranking member of the Senate Commerce Committee and Democrat, urged U.S. communications regulators on Friday to block Sirius Satellite Radio's purchase of rival XM Satellite Radio, saying the deal would lead to higher prices to customers. Dorgan wrote to the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission saying the agency should not follow the "illogical" decision of the Justice Department, which last month granted the deal antitrust approval. "This merger is contrary to the public interest. I hope that the FCC will stand up for competition in the public interest and deny this merger," Dorgan, of North Dakota, said in the letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin.

Of course, with such a large merger, the prospect of anticompetitive tactics arises. However, Sirius Chief Executive Mel Karmazin has promised that the combined company would let customers buy channels individually as well as let them block adult channels and get a refund for those channels. Sirius has also said all existing XM and Sirius satellite radios will continue to work after the merger.

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