Congressmen Seek More Info On Satcaster Merger From Martin, Gonzalez
June 14, 2007 at 1:42 PM (PT)
House Judiciary Chairman JOHN CONYERS (D-MI) and House Judiciary Antitrust Task Force Ranking Member Rep. STEVE CHABOT (R-OH) sent a letter to FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN and Attorney General ALBERTO GONZALEZ yesterday seeking information about the proposed merger of XM and SIRIUS.
Pointing out that when the FCC approved the satcasters' licenses, a Service Order was established that required more than one satellite license to be awarded to "help ensure that subscription rates are competitive as well as provide for a diversity of programming voices," the congressmen state in their letter, "Please explain the basis for the earlier Order and whether circumstances today are similar or different."
CONYERS and CHABOT also ask for explanations about what the DEPARTMENT OF JUSTICE looks for when defining a "relevant" market as part of its antitrust scrutiny; how approval of the merger would be consistent or inconsistent with the finding in the ECHOSTAR-DIRECTV merger (which the FCC said went against its long-standing policy of not permitting one entity to control all the spectrum for a particular service), and what market conditions would allow a competitor to effectively enter the satellite radio market.
Read the full letter here.