Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 6:00am
SIRIUS-XM MERGER WOULD SEND WRONG SIGNAL
[SOURCE: Washington Post, AUTHOR: Steven Pearlstein]
[Commenatary] Here's what to expect if the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission allow Sirius and XM to merge, creating a monopoly in the satellite radio business: Clear Channel will start buying every radio station in America that it doesn't already own. Comcast will begin merger talks with Time Warner Cable. And there will be nothing standing in the way of a marriage of NBC and CBS. All that will be possible because the government will have declared that there is so much competition between the different technologies in the market for digital material -- and the outcome of that competition is so uncertain -- that there is no reason to worry about consolidation of companies using the same technology. This is the Powell Doctrine -- not the one about overwhelming force enunciated by Gen. Colin Powell when he was chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, but the one promulgated by his son, Michael Powell, while he was chairman of the FCC. The younger Powell was guided by this doctrine in giving the green light to consolidation in almost every corner of the telecommunications sector. In the one instance he deviated from that position -- blocking the merger of EchoStar and DirecTV -- it was narrowly, on the ground that there weren't enough broadband competitors in many rural areas.
* Reject their request
[Commentary] Satellite companies don't deserve bailouts for bad business decisions.
* Sirius and XM together makes sense for listeners
KARMAZIN TO TESTIFY BEFORE HOUSE ANTITRUST TASK FORCE
[SOURCE: MediaWeek, AUTHOR: Jeffrey Yorke]
The Antitrust Task Force, a brand new subcommittee of the House Judiciary Committee, will examine the proposed $13 billion merger between Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio. The Task Force has already confirmed that Mel Karmazin, CEO of Sirius, will testify on Feb. 28 when the committee makes its debut. Chaired by Rep. John Conyers (D-Mi), the committee has been established to focus on antitrust and competition policy issues. Next Wednesday afternoon's hearing, billed "Competition and the future of Digital Music," will focus on the proposed satcasters' merger. â€œA congressional hearing doesn't doom the deal (we believe the merger does pass muster on competitive grounds), but shows that the high profile nature of the transaction could attract plenty of opposition,â€ said Jonathan Jacoby, an analysis with Banc of America Securities who gives the merger a â€œless than 50-50 chance.â€ If anything, the hearing could slow the entire approval process down. â€œA review by Congress seems to open the door further to politically motivated opposition,â€ Jacoby said. The hearing is perfect timing for the NAB which had scheduled its annual State Leadership Conference for Feb. 27-March 1. That means hundreds of grassroots broadcasters will be in Washington, preparing to rush Capitol Hill to let their representatives know about the hardships small broadcasters face daily. The NABâ€™s schedule gives broadcasters plenty of time to lean on representatives before the 3 p.m. hearing begins.
- U.S. moving "quickly as possible" on Sirius-XM
- Karmazin Says Sirius/XM Would Cap Price
- Antitrust issue blocked EchoStar-DirecTV deal
- League of Rural Voters: SIRIUS/XM Merger is Not EchoStar/DirecTV
- If Sirius and XM merge, Terrestrial wants to merge too
- FCC Backs More Conditions For Sirius-XM
- Is the XM/Sirius Merger Good for You?
- Copps Expresses Merger Doubts
- FCC approves Sirius-XM Satellite radio Deal
- FCC May Be Nearing Sirius-XM Decision
- Radio Merger Under Fire From Black Lawmakers
- More Static for Sirius-XM Deal
- Justice Approves XM-Sirius Merger
- House Judiciary Panel to Examine XM-Sirius Merger
- Sirius-XM merger may get OK from FCC