NAB 'Would Be Shocked' If Regulators Clear XM-Sirius Merger
February 19, 2007 at 1:27 PM (PT)
Following the announcement that XM and SIRIUS would combine in a "merger of equals," NAB Exec. VP/Media Relations DENNIS WHARTON told ALL ACCESS, "Given the government's history of opposing monopolies in all forms, NAB would be shocked if federal regulators permitted a merger of XM and SIRIUS. It bears mentioning that regulators summarily rejected a similar monopoly merger of the nation's only two satellite television companies -- DIRECTV and DISH NETWORK -- just a few years back.
"When the FCC authorized satellite radio, it specifically found that the public would be served best by two competitive nationwide systems. Now, with their stock prices at rock bottom and their business model in disarray because of profligate spending practices, they seek a government bail-out to avoid competing in the marketplace.
"In coming weeks, policymakers will have to weigh whether an industry that makes HOWARD STERN its poster child should be rewarded with a monopoly platform for offensive programming. We're hopeful that this anti-consumer proposal will be rejected."