NAB, Consumers Union, Common Cause File Anti-Sat-Merger Petitions
July 9, 2007 at 5:35 PM (PT)
It's not often that CONSUMERS UNION, COMMON CAUSE, the CONSUMER FEDERATION OF AMERICA, FREE PRESS, and the NAB are on the same side of a hot issue, but they are indeed in agreement in opposition to the XM-SIRIUS merger.
The NAB filed a Petition to Deny the merger with the FCC TODAY (7/9), calling the proposed consolidation an "assault on competition" and calling on the Commission to reject the merger as it rejected the ECHOSTAR-DIRECTV merger before. The petition says that the merger "would inevitably result in increased prices, fewer programming choices, less local programming for radio listeners, and other public interest harms." The NAB is asking for the merger to be dismissed or designated for hearing.
Meanwhile, CU, COMMON CAUSE, the CFA, and FREE PRESS jointly filed a Petition to Deny the satellite merger with the FCC today (7/9), criticizing the companies for "expanding the market definition" to allow an "anticompetitive and anti-consumer" action and calling the present prohibition of such a merger "sound policy when it was adopted and remains sound policy today."
The joint petition also calls the merger a "merger to monopoly in a distinct product market that should not be allowed. Moreover, the merger does such harm to the competitive fabric of the industry that there can be no pretense that merger conditions could somehow repair the damage. Any offer of short term price protection for consumers will not compensate for long term pricing abuse, the loss of choice among competitors, or the elimination of competition as the driver of program development and service innovation."
Read the joint petition by clicking here.