Thursday, June 21, 2007

Congressional Chairs Oppose XM / Sirius

It looks like Congress is getting into the act against the proposed satellite radio merger.

A bipartisan group of 72 Congressional leaders sent a letter Monday to the chairpersons of the Federal Communications Commission, the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission, opposing the merger of the nation's only two satellite radio companies, XM (XMSR) and Sirius (SIRI) saying “On its face, we believe that sanctioning the marriage of the only competitors in the satellite radio market would create a monopoly which would be devastating to consumers,” the letter said.

Among the Democrats signatories are Budget Committee chair John Spratt of South Carolina, Agriculture Committee chairman Collin Peterson of Minnesota, Rules Committee chairwoman Rep. Louise Slaughter of New York and presidential candidate Rep. Dennis Kucinich of Ohio.

Among the 25 Republicans who signed the letter are former House Speaker Rep. Dennis Hastert of Illinois, Republican whip Rep. Roy Blunt of Missouri and Tom Cole of Oklahoma, chairman of the National Republican Congressional Committee.

Earlier I posted my thoughts on the possibility of the merger based on the reaction to the Whole Foods (WFMI) and Wild Oats (OATS) attempt. This action by Congress all but assumes this one is dead. While not unusual for those in Congress to chime in with their opinion , in this seemingly new era of a market segment anti-monopolistic attitude, I cannot see how they will allow the merger.

Personally, I think the Wild Oats / Whole Foods opposition is laughable but a combination of XM /Sirius does create only one satellite radio company, last time I checked, that was a monopoly.


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