Saturday, July 26, 2008

no need for FCC in XM and Sirius merger

The Washington Post has full coverage of the FCC approval of the satellite merger:

By JOHN DUNBARThe Associated Press Saturday, July 26, 2008; 6:38 AM
Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s $3.3 billion buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. will mean millions of subscribers will be able to receive programming from both services, while executives say it will create huge cost savings for the industry.

The details of the article show the depth of involvement from the government in forcing the companies to do certain things. This is wrong. In such a dynamic market, the government should have stayed out of this merger completely and let the consumers decide if what XM or Sirius were doing worked for them.

There are so many choices in today's environment for entertainment. Sat. radio is one choice. Regular radio is one choice. However there are many, many more competitors including the internet, celluluar telephone services, the all important ipod and/or iphone. Who knows what will become popular or possible tomorrow.

Not you nor I.

So to force XM and Sirius to structure a deal to the liking of FCC government officials rather than what they think is in their 100% best interest is not good government policy.

If XM and Sirius get lucky, the concessions they have made will be meaningless. But if not, customers may find that the combined companies can't compete, and we'll be right back in Washington trying to secure a change to the agreement. Another option is the demise of the industry.

Democrats should focus their attention on areas where people need opportunity. We should focus on opening up new venues for success. Democrats should focus on economic, and other types of justice.

The XM and Sirius merger doesn't fit into the above.

Every chance we get, as a party we should demonstrate less government and increased flexibility. This will afford us the credibility with the American people to be able to use the government when it really is necessary.

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