Lawmakers To Review XM-Sirius Merger Next Week
February 21, 2007 at 5:18 PM (PT)
House Judiciary Committee Chairman JOHN CONYERS (D-MI) said this afternoon that a new congressional antitrust task force will hold a hearing on FEBRUARY 28 on the proposed merger of XM SATELLITE RADIO and SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO and that SIRIUS CEO MEL KARMAZIN will testify, AP reports.
"Digital music is at the cutting edge of technology and innovation," said CONYERS. "We are holding this hearing to allow members to probe whether this merger will enhance or diminish competition in the digital music distribution industry."
Rep. LAMAR SMITH (R-TX) said, "This hearing will help determine whether customers will get higher or lower prices and more or fewer programming options with the proposed merger. In particular, the committee will examine whether satellite radio competes against terrestrial radio, the Internet, or other emerging technologies."
As ALL ACCESS reported earlier today, Congressman BOB GOODLATTE (R-VA) sent a letter to CONYERS and SMITH urging the Judiciary Committee to examine the legal parameters and competitive ramifications of a potential merger between XM and SIRIUS.
In the letter, GOODLATTE stated, "These two companies have pioneered a new frontier in radio broadcasting, and their potential merger will have important ramifications for the industry. One particular area that the Judiciary Committee should explore is whether other music delivery methods, such as terrestrial radio services, Internet radio services, and portable downloading services, should be considered part of the 'relevant market' for purposes of the antitrust analysis or whether those services are distinct."