AfterDawn: Tech news

Interest group working to block XM-Sirius merger

Written by Andre Yoskowitz (Google+) @ 29 Mar 2007 21:42 User comments (12)

Interest group working to block XM-Sirius merger The proposed XM-Sirius merger now has another hurdle to jump. The Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio (C3SR) is sending a commissioned study to the FCC claiming that if they companies were to merge it would constitute a monopoly.
The group formed after the merger was announced "to counter the potentially dim prospects facing subscribers of satellite radio under a monopoly provider," claims the group's Web site.

The study, which was commisioned by J. Gregory Sidak (a former Deputy General Counsel for the FCC), claims that the merger would have no benefit for consumers.

"No matter how you slice it, dice it or package it, the merger of XM and Sirius would establish a monopoly, which are typically characterized by a lack of economic competition for the good or service that they provide, as well as a lack of viable substitute goods," Sidak says.

The study argues that the merger meets the definition of monopoly by any reasonable market definition.

"Even if one includes AM, FM, and HD radio, the market power of the combined company is enough to cause concern" the study says.

"This study confirms, empirically, what we have been stressing since before this merger was even announced: subscribers do not view their satellite radio service as a substitute for other forms of entertainment, and a merged provider would be able and motivated to raise prices and cut back the programming that so many listeners value and depend on,"
said Chris Reale, one of the founders of C3SR.

The group hopes that the study will at least play a part in the FCC's decision to approve or not approve the merger.


Source:
BetaNews

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12 user comments

130.3.2007 3:51

We have goverment sacationed monopolies all over the place,to cry monopoly is not whats needed is to dog them over price to raise rates over this is stupid what needs to happen is the goverment settigna limit on what they can charge and the rate at witch it goes up...of coarse thats failed with cable....

230.3.2007 15:22

I think they should realize that both of these companies are not doing very well and the merger will benefit them, before one falls off the face of the planet. Sirius has taken the lead of XM. XM is just bleeding money right now. There's no reason why this shouldn't go through. How many people does a monopoly in satellite radio affect anyways? I bet most of them would be happy to have the NFL and MLB on the same carrier, which is not possible at this time...

330.3.2007 15:50

Originally posted by SProdigy:
I think they should realize that both of these companies are not doing very well and the merger will benefit them, before one falls off the face of the planet. Sirius has taken the lead of XM. XM is just bleeding money right now. There's no reason why this shouldn't go through. How many people does a monopoly in satellite radio affect anyways? I bet most of them would be happy to have the NFL and MLB on the same carrier, which is not possible at this time...
its one thing when 2 companies merge over a niche service or product yet when 1 or 2 companies own most of media tv/radio/video you have to wonder WTF is up.

430.3.2007 17:24

This is a bogus group setup and fronted by the NAB!! These pricks don't want to see a satellite merger happen, they know satellite radio is a great product and want it to fail.

Read Here: Busted: C3SR supported by the NAB http://www.orbitcast.com/archives/busted...by-the-nab.html

530.3.2007 17:53
Junito
Inactive

What the heck. To be honest who really cares. I mean, how many people really pay for radio? radio come on. Well guess someone has to pay for Stern's over inflated salary.

630.3.2007 18:45

The definition of monopoly is one company that controls all phases of production so that it can underprice its end product to put its competitors out of business. Once the competition is gone, it controls the market, and consumers are forced to pay whatever the monopoly decides to charge.

In this case, there IS no competitor, and the end product is a LUXURY - not a necessity. If people don't like the price given by the only supplier, they have the choice to DO WITHOUT.

What's the option, if the merger is blocked? One or the other company will go bankrupt (yeah, that's good for the subscribers!) and you're down to ONE supplier again. Then that one goes bankrupt, and you have NONE.

At least with one merged company, you can continue to develop the technology & market.

730.3.2007 19:25

Originally posted by Junito:
What the heck. To be honest who really cares. I mean, how many people really pay for radio? radio come on. Well guess someone has to pay for Stern's over inflated salary.
I care and 14 million others care, satellite radio rocks. The NAB also cares and is concerned because of their stone aged, over commercialized, boring, old fashioned radio sucks a$$.

$12.95/month for a whole lotta programming is nothing., check out your broadband/TV bills per month

BTW, Stern has never been better............... been listening since '92

P.S. read Steve83's post.....he gets it

830.3.2007 21:26

Quote:
Originally posted by Junito:
What the heck. To be honest who really cares. I mean, how many people really pay for radio? radio come on. Well guess someone has to pay for Stern's over inflated salary.
I care and 14 million others care, satellite radio rocks. The NAB also cares and is concerned because of their stone aged, over commercialized, boring, old fashioned radio sucks a$$.

$12.95/month for a whole lotta programming is nothing., check out your broadband/TV bills per month

BTW, Stern has never been better............... been listening since '92

P.S. read Steve83's post.....he gets it
EXACTLY! I don't know where "Junito" lives, but where I live radio sucks ass. Sat. radio is a great alternative and it needs to be developed with or without a merger. I use Sirius in my car and XM in my Jeep and they both have their +'s and -'s so a merger might be a good thing.

931.3.2007 2:28

Surely, if the merger doesn't go through, the remaining company will be a monopoly anyway, because one of these two WILL go bust. I think the government needs to give them conditional permission for the merger, put enough safeguards there that they wouldn't dare screw around with the subscribers. I don't think we want to kill the free marketplace, but left to their own devices, i do fear what they will do. As for quality, if you don't have the service, you realy can't comment on it. I originally got it for free for 9 months with my new car, and was sure that the cost of it was somehow built into the car, which ticked me off. However, I am grateful that I was introduced to it. I couldn't imagine going back to crappy old radio now!

1031.3.2007 10:12
nyurbiz
Inactive

NAB should send up their own satellites if they are concerned about Sirius/XM. Put out a shitty product and what do you expect? That's right, people jumping from the "free" radio model ship in droves.

1131.3.2007 16:27

Originally posted by Junito:
What the heck. To be honest who really cares. I mean, how many people really pay for radio? radio come on. Well guess someone has to pay for Stern's over inflated salary.
Clearly spoken by someone who doesn't have it. If you had it, you would want it and wouldn't know what you did without it (other than listen to 1 song per 5 commercials or even worse, stupid DJ chatter.

Satellite radio rocks. If Sirius and/or XM dies, I'll just go back to my media player. I definitely won't go back to free radio, which has sucked for decades.

I think that's where a lot of the problem is -- radio. XM and Sirius really need to changed their name to not include "radio". First of all, people hear the word "radio" and immediately think "free". That's not good for business (as in $). They really should've called it Satellite Music or something similar.

Truthfully, why should we expect XM or Sirius to do any better than the local FM stations, which drop like flies all the time, change format, etc.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 31 Mar 2007 @ 16:29

1231.3.2007 19:01

Quote:
The study, which was commisioned by J. Gregory Sidak (a former Deputy General Counsel for the FCC)
I dont get why this dude cares. If he cared he would still be working for the FCC, but he left. He should leave this business to people who care. And frankly, if this merger doesnt go through, like others have said, one will have a monopoly anyways because the market isnt large enough to support two companies that dont have other sources of income because of the cost to start and maintain their product.

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