John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

Look at It This Way: Now There’s Half as Much Competition for Anyone Who’s Dreamed of Having a Satellite Radio Company

Well, I guess the check finally cleared. … After a nearly 18-month review, the Federal Communications Commission has finally reached an agreement to approve the merger of XM Satellite Radio Holdings and Sirius Satellite Radio. Though an official announcement is yet to be made, some outstanding enforcement matters have been resolved, and the stage is set for formal Commission approval. “I think it’s fair to say an agreement in principle has been reached,” FCC Chairman Kevin Martin told The Wall Street Journal. “We’re still trying to work out the language.”

But once the Commission’s done that, XM (XM) and Sirius (SIRI)–the only two satellite radio players in the market–can finally join to create the pay-radio monopoly they’ve long planned. “I was hoping to forge a bipartisan solution that would offer consumers more diversity in programming, better price protection, greater choices among innovative devices and real competition with digital radio,” said
Jonathan S. Adelstein, an FCC commissioner who’s opposed the merger on the grounds that it’s against the public interest to let the only two companies in a particular business combine. “Instead, it appears they’re going to get a monopoly with window dressing.”