FCC's McDowell: XM-Sirius Merger 'An Interesting Idea'
December 6, 2006 at 5:52 AM (PT)
FCC Commissioner ROBERT MCDOWELL told the CREDIT SUISSE investors conference in NEW YORK TUESDAY (12/5) that a merger of SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO and XM SATELLITE RADIO might be an "interesting idea." MCDOWELL said that he'd be "happy to look at" a merger proposal between the satellite radio companies, a possibility recently raised by SIRIUS CEO MEL KARMAZIN in an interview.
The comments did not extend to a satellite TV merger, about which he said that he has not seen adequate evidence to justify allowing DISH NETWORK and DIRECTV to combine operations. (An attempt by DISH owner ECHOSTAR to buy DIRECTV was shot down by the Commission a few years ago.)
Tipping his position on media-ownership regulation, MCDOWELL, noting increased competition, joked that "so far, I, for one, have a hunch it is no longer 1975" and voiced his preference for industry self-regulation: "Rarely do we do as good a job as you [the industry] do."