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A monopoly in satellite radio is a big no says FCC

According to several reports, FCC chairman Kevin Martin said that it is very unlikely the FCC will allow Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. to merge. Both companies represent the two leading satellite radio entities currently in business in the U.S. and unfortunately, a merger in the eyes of the FCC is an obvious road to anti-competitive grounds.

Both Sirius and XM have been battling it out for the last several years, and in 2006 both companies saw their revenues drop as well as subscriber numbers drop. This peaked a notion in the industry that it was very possible that the two companies were in negotiations to go through a merger.

Share prices from both companies had dropped significantly in 2006, with Sirius shares dropping roughly 38-percent and XM shares dropping a whopping 46-percent of their value. Despite the shares dropping, the two companies continue to operate on speculation of a merger, which was also fueled by remarks made by XM CEO Mel Karmazin and chairman Gary Parsons. With their remarks, shares of both companies jumped last month but have since declined.

It is very unlikely, less than 50-percent chance, that Sirius and XM will receive FCC approval for merger, according to Martin.  Even so, both companies will have to pass anti-trust regulations and audits. "There is a prohibition on one entity owning both of these businesses," said Martin.

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By phideo on 1/23/2007 2:09:01 PM , Rating: 4
The title implies that the FCC has authoritatively said "no" to the XM/Sirius merger, while the body states that the FCC has yet to make a final judgment, saying that it is "very unlikely" that the FCC will approve the merger.

A little sketchy, guys.

RE: So...
By UNCjigga on 1/23/2007 3:13:45 PM , Rating: 2
IMHO digital radio will pwn them both. The only problem is car makers aren't getting the fat subsidies to option an HD radio tuner like they do with XM and Sirius, so adoption will be slower. But anyone who's heard HD radio knows it sounds 100x better than satellite, and best of all its FREE once you've got a tuner. I guess XM now has XMHD but that requires a new tuner too. Europe still has it best--standardized digital radio using MPEG-based codecs.

RE: So...
By kamel5547 on 1/23/2007 4:06:01 PM , Rating: 2
Right... but you still ahve the commercials, which is what most satellite subscirbers are trying to escape.

RE: So...
By EglsFly on 1/23/2007 4:54:12 PM , Rating: 1
There are no commercials on the Sirius MUSIC channels.

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