FCC's McDowell: NAB's Anti-Sat Merger Argument Might Affect Ownership Rule Debate
March 1, 2007 at 4:12 PM (PT)
At the NAB's legislative meeting in WASHINGTON on THURSDAY, Commissioner ROBERT MCDOWELL said that the NAB's argument that terrestrial radio is not an effective competitor with satellite radio for purposes of the proposed XM-SIRIUS merger could impact broadcasters' arguments regarding ownership limits.
Responding to a question about whether the NAB's position might affect the debate over ownership limits, MCDOWELL said, "If we are saying that satellite radio competes with free over-the-air radio, then how do we define the markets, and how does that affect our current broadcast ownership regime? If we say XM and SIRIUS should not merge because there is not sufficient competition, does that mean there is not sufficient competition overall?"
MCDOWELL did not indicate how he will vote on the merger, noting, "A lot is determined on how the market is defined. I will be asking a lot of questions."