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Friday, February 06, 2009


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Earlier this week, I watched the Judiciary Committee heraing on the C-Span network. Sirius's CEO didn't fool me as he tried to convince the senate that if the deal to merge XM Sirius were approved, the company would not become a monopoly. Nor did I believe him when he said they wouldn't raise prices. This is entirely False, and a bad deal for consumers if the deal were approved. Don't be fooled. Sirius/XM would raise rates because they would be the only satellite radio in existance. Especially once they gain larger chunks of market share, the fear of loosing subscibers lessens. Customer service will likely falter, and the probability of customer abuses would likely increase because there's no other game in town. As Sirius's CEO attempted to convince the committee they would not become a monopoly because they compete with traditional radio, HD, computer radio, and even IPods. It appeared to me that some of the senators and reps were becoming somewhat perplexed by this statement. I on the other hand see it quite clearly. Although these two radio satellite companies compete to some degree with traditional (free) radio companies or other modes of media, satellite is satellite. It has it own intrinsic set of attributes which distinctly sets it apart from traditional radio, or any other media for that matter. It is for this Very reason that XM and Sirus has a marketable product to begin with. For starters; satellite radio provides a subscriber radio service for $12.95 per month Plus specific hardware that must be purchased by the subscriber. Secondly,the service consists of uninterrupted, unedited programming void of commercial advertisements, contests, gimicks,or disc jockies. Because it's satellite produced,programming is consistant thoughout a much larger area versus the limited range of signal through a local (traditional) radio station.And lastly,satellite radio offers a wider variety of programming not available on other broadcast networks.These are the specific and unique differences which sets satellite radio apart from all other media, and why subscribers pay $12.95 per month, and fork out large sums of money to purchase the hardware required for satellite radio. Moreover,it would set a clear precendent for other companies seeking merger approval, that the feds are relaxing the very rules set forth to foster competition and protect consumers. I hope the FCC and our politicians see this merger for what it really is and vote No.Thank you.

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