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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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I know why they're losing subs...
By Spivonious on 1/23/2007 3:29:37 PM , Rating: 2
...the answer is iPod.

By WxGuy192 on 1/23/2007 5:43:44 PM , Rating: 2
It depends what you like... For me, I don't want to spend loads of money to legally possess enough music that I don't get bored. I like not knowing what song is coming up, and I like not having to spend a lot of time and money to keep my music up to date. If I do have a huge music portfolio, I wouldn't want to spend the time to make playlists for the type of music I like. For example, suppose I'm in the mood for rather low-key country music (or hip-hop, or whatever). I could either spend a lot of time to make a playlist for that, or I could just random-play and advance until I stumble upon a song that fits that description. When I'm driving, that's not something I want to mess with. If I'm in the mood for 80s music, there's a good chance I know the songs but not the artist+song name, so downloading is difficult.

Of course, it'd be easier if I had lots of time to make playlists, felt less distracted when scrolling through songs while driving, and didn't have a problem spending the money to download hundreds or thousands of songs (or steal it, as many folks do), I'd be up for a mobile audio player. But, I'm not, and that's just a personal preference.

RE: I know why they're losing subs...
By mgambrell on 1/23/2007 7:36:16 PM , Rating: 2
I switch between my 60G iriver and sirius depending on my mood. As the earlier reply to your post states, I place an incredibly high value on having no idea what songs are coming up next. Besides paying for sirius, I donate $100/yr to a single shoutcast stream that doesn't even ask for donations.

The temptation to skip crap is too hard when you load up your mp3 players. Then you never find anything new. I also listen to my mp3 player on album at a time on shuffle so theres no way I skip tracks I don't like. How else would I ever discover I like them?

When youre dealing with non-payola radio, the music that plays is mostly good, even if you dont understand it, and sometimes you have to hear something a few times before it clicks. You miss out on that entire experience if you stay stuffed in your ipod.

By Spivonious on 1/24/2007 11:12:16 AM , Rating: 2
Oh I don't have an iPod, or any MP3 player for that matter. Just stating my opinion on why satellite radio is in trouble.

For me, I also enjoy not knowing what's next. I also know for a fact (since my friend has Sirius and my sister has XM) that they have no channels for the kind of music in which I like to discover new bands.

Maybe it's because we have a pretty good classic rock station around here that does 10 songs in a row? I don't mind hearing commercials, especially since it's free to listen to.

Good for you on your donation, but it's generally considered extremely tacky to state to the world that you donated something, i.e. "Look at me, I'm great!"

"And boy have we patented it!" -- Steve Jobs, Macworld 2007

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