The proposed XM-Sirius merger concerns the Chairman of the FCC.
New York-based Sirius and XM of the District are lining up some of the best-known and highest-paid lawyers and lobbyists, while competitors and consumer groups vow to fight back. The biggest potential roadblock for the merger is a 1997 Federal Communications Commission declaration that a single owner may not control the subscriber-only satellite radio business.
Proponents of the merger argue from an economic standpoint, i.e. the death of satellite radio if the companies continue to operate independently.
Neither company is making money right now, and the prospects of either one of them being able to turn a profit as an independent company given the immense operating costs that they have to deal with is pretty slim. Satellite radio is still, and will likely remain for a long time, a niche technology.
As an XM and Sirius subscriber, I have a different argument against the merger, i.e. the watering-down of the formats. XM plays great and eclectic music, while Sirius excels at talk radio. Traditionally, such mergers haven’t yielded a greater product, but a watered-down compromise of the individual parts. This, I fear, will doom the XMSiriusMegacombo far more than if they stay independent of one another.