09 May 2008

On The Merger of Sirius and XM Satellite Radio

According to AllAccess, one of the FCC Commissioners, Jonathan Adelstein, says he "didn't have any idea" when the agency will finally rule on the merger request, made about 15 months ago!

The article indicates there is no indication a decision will be rendered "anytime soon." It also states, "a key sticking point remained whether and how sufficient spectrum could be carved out to create a competitor." That is apparently the reason XM and Sirius offered to lease 8 channels to minority owned organisations.

Meanwhile, according to an article in Business Week (don't use the elevators at McGraw-Hill) XM and Sirius are in a sort of holding pattern, endlessly awaiting word from the FCC.

The uncertainty is making it difficult for them to plan and make important business decisions. This in turn is contributing to their serious financial problems, and negative perceptions on Wall Street.

Whether one is in favour of the merger or not, it seems only fair that a decision be rendered soon, so that the satellite radio interests can get on with their business! The F.C.C. is taking considerably longer with this decision than with most others.

Its become quite obvious that certain members of Congress are in the back pockets of terrestrial radio brass. The United States Department of Justice has rubber stamped merger after merger, and the fact that this one merger has taken so long is a travesty and an injustice.

More wild Poincaré conjecture on the merger can be found here

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