Testify, Rinse, Repeat: Karmazin Back For Another Round At Senate Panel
April 17, 2007 at 10:13 AM (PT)
SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO CEO MEL KARMAZIN was back before the SENATE COMMERCE COMMITTEE for yet another round of testimony to tout the benefits of the proposed SIRIUS-XM merger, telling the panel, "The merger will allow us to lower prices."
KARMAZIN repeated his plan to allow customers to choose lesser tiers of programming for less than the present $12.95 per month. He also reiterated his contention that the relevant market is the "audio entertainment market," including terrestrial radio and the Internet, and claimed that the merged entity "will be able to offer consumers access to advanced technology sooner than would otherwise occur. In particular, the marriage of the companies' two engineering organizations will ensure better results from each dollar invested in research and development." KARMAZIN asserted that "no radio will become obsolete as a result of this transaction" but said that the merger will "stimulate the development of new interoperable, highly portable, low-cost, and user-friendly devices."
Lawmakers on the panel continue to voice skepticism about KARMAZIN's assertions, with Sen. BYRON DORGAN (D-ND) stating flatly, "I do not support the merger... I believe the merger by definition will mean less competition."