Happy Birthday, Sirius-XM

by on February 19, 2008 · 12 comments

Today is a birthday of sorts. One year ago today, February 19, 2007, Sirius and XM announced plans to merge. And after 12 months of debate, investigation, deliberation and prognostication, the deal is still awaiting approval by the FCC and the Department of Justice.

This, despite the FCC’s much-heralded “shot-clock” — under which it has pledged to review mergers in 180-days. That shot-clock frankly looked a little shaky from the start, as the FCC didn’t even start the dang thing until 78 days had passed. Even with that, the FCC remained silent when the deadline passed.

Of course, we’ve come to expect such delay from the FCC, whose official seal contains a figure of a snail. (Well, not really, but it would fit). But the long-delay from the Department of Justice is more eye-catching. What can the Antitrust Division possibly not know about the deal by now?

Of course, rumors of imminent action at DOJ have frequently made the rounds: the DOJ is going to approve the deal, the DOJ is going to reject the deal, the DOJ is going to attach conditions on the deal. I’m half-expecting to read that the DOJ’s dog ate the files on the deal.

Enough delay. I’ve said before that the deal should be approved. Others disagree. But everyone should be able to agree that a year is long enough for the government to make a decision.

  • young

    Hello James,

    I was present for your very informative lecture at nyu this past week. You’ve stated that the FCC had alloted 2 slots for satellite telecom enterprises. In a previous article you stated that “Sirius and XM won their licenses in an FCC auction 10 years ago”. If the merger of the above is approved how and/or will the allotments be affected? Will it open up another slot? When the FCC first held the auction 10 years ago, do you know how many parties had participated in the bidding process? And if so, were there any other media entities who may possibly fill the void as a possible competitor to a XM/Sirius merger? I personally feel this specific market should be allowed to find its own rhythm, at least until it has stabilized financially, for even any mention, of a monopoly. It should be given time to at least find its footing before being attacked as a potential monopoly.Perhaps some of the companies which were denied a slot previously may utilize the other slot if XM/Sirius were to merge, which would then fulfill the arguments of those against the merger. The alternative of XM and Sirius both folding because the merger is denied would only be detrimental to everyone involved, except of course the broadcasting groups…

  • young

    Hello James,

    I was present for your very informative lecture at nyu this past week. You’ve stated that the FCC had alloted 2 slots for satellite telecom enterprises. In a previous article you stated that “Sirius and XM won their licenses in an FCC auction 10 years ago”. If the merger of the above is approved how and/or will the allotments be affected? Will it open up another slot? When the FCC first held the auction 10 years ago, do you know how many parties had participated in the bidding process? And if so, were there any other media entities who may possibly fill the void as a possible competitor to a XM/Sirius merger? I personally feel this specific market should be allowed to find its own rhythm, at least until it has stabilized financially, for even any mention, of a monopoly. It should be given time to at least find its footing before being attacked as a potential monopoly.Perhaps some of the companies which were denied a slot previously may utilize the other slot if XM/Sirius were to merge, which would then fulfill the arguments of those against the merger. The alternative of XM and Sirius both folding because the merger is denied would only be detrimental to everyone involved, except of course the broadcasting groups…

  • http://www.baby-markt.de Kinderzimmer

    I know it is late but happy birthdayyyy

  • http://www.baby-markt.de Kinderzimmer

    I know it is late but happy birthdayyyy

  • JHanna

    It may be a birthday but it’s nothing to celebrate unless you are on the anti-merger party boat. The satellite companies are being held hostage by the FCC’s and DOJ’s silence. What is taking them so long to approve this merger?? Is the NAB really this powerful or is there just not enough pressure on the two departments to make a decision? They, the lobbyists for traditional radio, are afraid of the competition because satellite radio has a better quality product not only in content but in hardware too! Unfortunately, XM and Sirius have to wait this out and continue to bleed money. Are the FCC and DOJ just waiting for the satellite companies to run out of money and go out of business? This would serve their interests but not the publics. Isn’t the point of our market system to encourage competition to better serve the public??In the meantime, I’m going to hold back on celebrating until the merger is approved.

  • JHanna

    It may be a birthday but it’s nothing to celebrate unless you are on the anti-merger party boat. The satellite companies are being held hostage by the FCC’s and DOJ’s silence. What is taking them so long to approve this merger?? Is the NAB really this powerful or is there just not enough pressure on the two departments to make a decision? They, the lobbyists for traditional radio, are afraid of the competition because satellite radio has a better quality product not only in content but in hardware too! Unfortunately, XM and Sirius have to wait this out and continue to bleed money. Are the FCC and DOJ just waiting for the satellite companies to run out of money and go out of business? This would serve their interests but not the publics. Isn’t the point of our market system to encourage competition to better serve the public??In the meantime, I’m going to hold back on celebrating until the merger is approved.

  • Wayne

    The FCC is hinting on a decision by this month. What would be the opposition to this now? With the economy the way it is, I can see this merger getting approved.

  • Wayne

    The FCC is hinting on a decision by this month. What would be the opposition to this now? With the economy the way it is, I can see this merger getting approved.

  • JHanna

    Okay, so now that the DoJ has given the merger the green light how does this bode for the FCC’s decision?? Historically, has the FCC followed suit or is danger still lurking ahead??Thank goodness that the DoJ did not let bad sense get in their way, of course there is no monopoly!! I’m almost ready to celebrate!! The FCC can still spoil my plans…

  • JHanna

    Okay, so now that the DoJ has given the merger the green light how does this bode for the FCC’s decision?? Historically, has the FCC followed suit or is danger still lurking ahead??Thank goodness that the DoJ did not let bad sense get in their way, of course there is no monopoly!! I’m almost ready to celebrate!! The FCC can still spoil my plans…

  • http://www.nitis-flotte-kindermoden.de Christoff

    Happy Birthday, Sirius-XM

  • http://www.nitis-flotte-kindermoden.de Christoff

    Happy Birthday, Sirius-XM

Previous post:

Next post: