Satcaster Merger Reaction: The Blowback Continues
March 25, 2008 at 4:21 PM (PT)
As to be expected, more parties are publicly registering their reactions to the Department Of Justice's approval of the SIRIUS-XM merger.
HISPANIC FEDERATION Pres, LILLIAN RODRIGUEZ-LOPEZ commended the decision. "The announcement from the U.S. Department of Justice is welcome news to the thousands of minority consumers who will soon experience the many benefits of a combined XM/SIRIUS satellite radio," she said in a statement. "After more than a year of careful review, anti-trust officials confirmed that the audio entertainment market is robust and competitive and will remain so after the companies have merged. We look forward to the FCC's approval of the merger and continuing our work with the combined company for the benefit of all minority listeners."
Added LEAGUE OF RURAL VOTERS Exec. Dir. NIEL RITCHIE: "The Department of Justice's careful and thorough evaluation of the proposed XM-SIRIUS merger proves that this transaction is not anti-competitive and is in the public interest. Following their merger, the combined company will be able to provide even more unique and diverse programming for rural audiences that are currently unavailable on traditional radio. We urge the FCC to consider these and other important benefits and allow the merger to proceed."
Begging to differ is THE AMERICAN ANTITRUST INSTITUTE, which described the decision as "a reward to the companies for managing to squelch competition between them ... The critical decision involves market definition, which the DOJ concluded to be much broader than satellite radio and include a variety of sources of audio entertainment. The AAI believes the market should have been more narrowly defined as satellite broadcast radio. The AAI acknowledges that satellite radio competes to some degree with other modes of entertainment communication. However, the satellite market has many special qualities that set it apart and the AAI believes these qualities have not been given proper weight or consideration in the ruling."