Attorneys General Oppose Sirius-XM Deal
July 8, 2008 at 5:29 AM (PT)
A group of state attorneys general made a last-ditch effort this week to convince the FCC's wild-card to oppose SIRIUS RADIO's proposed merger with XM, reports THE HOLLYWOOD REPORTER. The AGs told FCC Commissioner DEBORAH TAYLOR TATE in a phone call JULY 1st that the combination would deal a "stacked deck" to consumers despite voluntary conditions the companies have agreed to that they contend would ameliorate anti-competitive concerns.
Their focus on TATE comes as FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN told reporters late last month (NET NEWS 6/17) that he would support the merger and was hoping that his colleagues would go along with it. While it is unclear exactly where the votes line, the Commission's two Democrats, MICHAEL COPPS and JONATHAN ADELSTEIN, have been skeptical about the deal. Republican Commissioner ROBERT MCDOWELL has been more accommodating.
While the state AGs have expressed their concerns before (NET NEWS 5/9), the phone call from the top law-enforcement officers in a baker's dozen states -- including TATE's home state of TENNESSEE -- come as the panel is expected to make a decision on the deal.
In a letter to TATE made public late MONDAY detailing their conference call, the AGs noted that while many think the deal is a bad idea, the Commission should approve the deal only of it includes a condition that would sets aside at least 20% of the frequencies the combined companies would use for a third party.