Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 5:58am
ANTITRUST ISSUE BLOCKED ECHOSTAR-DIRECTV DEAL
[SOURCE: Rocky Mountain News, AUTHOR: Joyzelle Davis]
The last time two satellite giants tried to merge, the same antitrust concerns that analysts raise with the proposed XM Satellite Radio and Sirius marriage ultimately doomed the deal. In 2001, EchoStar made a $26 billion bid to buy larger satellite-TV rival DirecTV from owner General Motors. At the time, analysts put the odds of success at less than 50 percent, saying that regulators likely would balk at the idea of giving one company control of 91 percent of the U.S. satellite-TV market. Turned out they were right. The Federal Communications Commission ruled against it, then the U.S. Justice Department and 23 states filed suit to block the merger. Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which ardently lobbied against the EchoStar-DirecTV union on antitrust grounds, ultimately swooped in to buy DirecTV in 2003.
* Shift on Antitrust Issues May Aid Sirius-XM Deal
* Satellite Radio in Canada Faces Its Own Uncertainties
[SOURCE: New York Times, AUTHOR: Ian Austen]
While many questions surround the planned merger of the XM and Sirius satellite radio systems in the United States, the situation for the two companiesâ€™ Canadian affiliates may be, if anything, more uncertain. Because Canadian rules ban foreign ownership of broadcasters, two Canadian-owned companies began offering the XM and Sirius services, with some additional Canadian content, in late 2005. The companies, Sirius Canada and Canadian Satellite Radio Holdings, have not discussed a merger of their own, but technology and programming changes resulting from any deal in the United States would probably force them to combine. As in the United States, any such merger would face intense regulatory scrutiny.
* Making Radio Waves
The Sirius-XM merger and the ghost of satellite TV.
* Sirius-XM's Fate Hinges on Definitions
* XM-Sirius Merger Hinges on FCC Ownership Rule
* What would a satellite radio merger mean?
Answers to consumers' questions
* How Sirius-XM Deal Would Affect Listeners
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- U.S. moving "quickly as possible" on Sirius-XM
- If Sirius and XM merge, Terrestrial wants to merge too
- DirecTV-Dish Merger Still 'Problematic'
- FCC Provides Target Date for Sirius-XM Merge
- FCC approves Sirius-XM Satellite radio Deal
- XM-Sirius and Five Angry Men
- Public Knowledge, Media Access Project clarify letter from Georgetown Partners
- Karmazin Says Sirius/XM Would Cap Price