Analyst: Sirius-XM merger is "finally at hand" - Orbitcast

Analyst: Sirius-XM merger is "finally at hand"

| 41 Comments
XM and Sirius MergerCowen & Company analyst Tom Watts predicts that the merger between Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. is in the final countdown stages and that approval is at hand.

In a research note issued this morning, Cowen & Co. wrote that after multiple delays the Sirius-XM merger "is finally at hand and should occur by the end of this month."

Additionally, Watts predicted that FCC Commissioner McDowell could announce a vote in favor of the deal "any day now" confirming last week's reports. With Commissioner Tate out of the country this week, Watts expects that the third and final vote will come on the week of July 21st, which coincides with Orbitcast's own information that staffers asked to have that period blocked off.

Cowen & Co. maintains their Outperform rating on both SIRI and XMSR.



41 Comments

I'll believe it when it actually happens...

ME TO

When does Tate return to this country?

Ron & Fez, noon to three.....

5 - 8$ by sept..

I was under the impression that Tate was returning from Africa on Tuesday(tomorrow). I could be wrong. But thats what I read.

Is there light at the end of the tunnel , or is it a train wreck comming ?

I can't wait to get back in the country to vote in favor of this merger! I hate the NAB too! It sucks eggs!

So, I'm so far past this argument (let's get it done already) that I'm onto much worse things. Like InBev buying Budweiser. I can't believe the Busch family is selling out to an EU conglomerate. I'm never buying Bud Lite ever again.

Have anyone noticed in pre-trading of the stock ....the stock is up from last night +.9 on Sirius (up from -.5) and XM is +.20 (up from .0)

I think the very respected Bob Peck made the same call in November 2007.

Let's find out how this impacts the careers of Tate, Martin,Copps and Adlestien before we jump to conclusions... after all, it's all about them isn't it?

Can't wait to see the final 'filings' from the NAB side this week. It's almost like picking up a copy of The Onion (heard of it?).

Guarantee - they will not let up. Look for more congressional involvement this week. It's really their only hope.

Countin' down!!

Looks like BOHICA time for NAB trolls.

Another anal-yst opening his mouth. How many times have we heard this before? This is far from being a done deal, if it ever becomes one. Remember they can still vote it down.

Cheerleaders should be ashamed of themselves, orbitcast has gone from a what's what in the satellite radio industry to a mess of desperation and cheerleading to combine two companies which in the long and short term is not being done for the consumers benefit, and blaming/bashing everyone else who has a different opinion. Funny since most of us liked that we had options when it came to choice of satellite company, and most of us found one that we preferred, even if it meant trying both or having both. It's positive direct competition which has brought the satellite radio industry to the point it is at now. Don't know if there is "NAB" or "FCC" posting here but sure seems xm and sirius has their people posting here since nothing is as transparent as it seems.

Tate can vote from Africa. Get it done!

Price action today says the market ain't buying it.

Maybe they're numb from all the "wolf" yelling.

I wonder, who payed for Tates trip?

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz boring.

see article on Siriusbuzz.com

zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz This is really getting boring.

Load up on XM

Ditto to plowboy on how the market looks right now. We'll fluctuate in a $.15 range until this thing gets approved.

Stock price is the least of my concerns - I'll be lucky to break even. I just want my dual-service Stilletto to listen to Stern/NFL/MLB!!!

SEC WARNS WALL STREET: STOP SPREADING THE FALSE RUMORS...

It is too bad Apple can't just buy XM, can you imigine an i pod that gets XM!, that would truly rock!

hey anonymous coward ranting about cheerleaders... stop with the fake representation of "most of us" youre just plain wrong on that one. speak for yourself not anyone else!!!

I am a Homo!!

Didn't somebody say it would be four weeks, three months ago?? this could be true here.. but then again they don't say the end of this here week we are on... rather it says the end of the week with the 21st of July which everyone knows there's a 21st of July next year too.. see how that works??

First name August
Second name First
Any announcement before the 1st would be a surprise to me. This thing has been imminent for almost a year now. I'm glad they are saying that it is "at hand" rather than "imminent"; that somehow makes me feel better about the whole thing.

:-|

Sorry I had to post quick before my mom took back the computer and gave me another time out, (that was my 100th time out, and school has only been out for a month) I'm just so nervous and excited about trying to be one of Melvin Alan "Mel" Karmazin's bitches that I can't handle others opinions even when they are correct. But really I'm not like "most of us" one satellite radio service is not enough for me, but my mom won't let me get even one satellite radio yet. I hope my posts make Melvin Alan "Mel" Karmazin happy. I'm not smart enough to think for myself so I cheer with the rest of the ignorant.

I think that a groundswell disgust with the Schumer-Indymac fiasco will focus the wrath of the everyman citizen against our totally incompetent/impotent government. It's getting ugly around the IndyMac branches here in LA...................

Perhaps the congresspersons on this FCC panel, not wanting to be enjoined by such wrath, may be given "incentive" (i.e., will revert to political survival instinct, and approve this merger in order not to make the same CNN news piece in a few days.

SEC WARNS WALL STREET: STOP SPREADING THE FALSE RUMORS...
http://www.nytimes.com/2008/07/14/business/14sec.html?ref=business

We've had about 500 days of FALSE RUMORS

NOW THIS IS DESPERATION AND TO INSULT KEVIN MARTIN DIRECTLY FOR WHAT HE HAS BROKERED AND PRPOSED.

WHAT A REHR-END !

David K. Rehr
President and CEO
July 14, 2008
The Honorable Kevin J. Martin
Chairman
Federal Communications Commission
445 12th Street SW
Washington DC 20554
Re: XM-Sirius Merger (MB Docket No. 07-57)
Dear Chairman Martin:
This letter addresses the suggestion by Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (“Sirius”) and XM
Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (“XM”), the nation’s only two satellite radio providers, that
a promise to lease four percent of their platforms to a Qualified Entity or Entities is
sufficient to overcome the harms that their merger to monopoly would impose on
consumers.1 Plainly, it is not.2
The National Association of Broadcasters (“NAB”) opposes this alleged remedy
because it will do nothing to replace the loss of head-to-head competition between
Sirius and XM, or the consumer benefits of that competition (e.g., competitive rates,
diverse content, reduced innovation). History shows that such leasing requirements
are not effective in achieving their intended goal. Indeed, given the well-documented
failure of mandatory leases in other markets like cable TV and local telephone service
to produce real and sustained public benefit, it is clear that any lease arrangements
between a combined Sirius-XM and a Qualified Entity will benefit only the companies,
not the public. Moreover, these lease arrangements will require the Commission’s
1 Letter from Richard E. Wiley, Counsel for Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., and Gary M. Epstein,
Counsel for XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., to Ms. Marlene Dortch, Secretary, Federal
Communications Commission, MB Docket No. 07-57 (June 16, 2008) (“Sirius/XM Merger
Conditions Letter”).
2 Sirius and XM state that four percent currently equates to six channels on Sirius’ platform
and six channels on XM’s platform. Observers may compare this to the approximately nine
channels that both Sirius and XM devote to channels that carry adult content and draw their
own conclusions concerning the merger parties’ programming priorities.
The Honorable Kevin J. Martin
July 14, 2008
Page 2
endless oversight of rates and other leasing terms, especially here, given the merger
parties’ long track record of Commission rule violations.
Under the Communications Act, the Commission may justify approval of a transaction
only if it finds that the public interest benefits of the transaction outweigh the
anticompetitive effects. While XM and Sirius suggest that their promises would
produce public benefit, the only remedy that would fully and permanently protect
consumers from the anticompetitive harms of a Sirius-XM merger is to deny the
merger.
The four percent leasing requirement proposed by XM and Sirius is primarily designed
to give the appearance of a remedy without any real exposure for the companies. NAB
wholeheartedly supports the promotion and expansion of minority control over
programming, however the lease of a mere four percent of the combined company’s
full-time audio channels to a Qualified Entity or Entities is plainly not sufficient to
promote that interest or overcome the public harm of the merger in larger part due to
the problems associated with enforcing a mandatory leasing scheme.
In fact, no lease arrangement, even of half of Sirius and XM’s spectrum, would offer
sufficient protection to consumers. Simply put, any mandatory lease will raise more
problems than it could ever correct:
• As the lessor, Sirius-XM will maintain control over the delivery channels, and
the entire hardware-side of the business. It is inevitable that a monopoly Sirius-
XM will improve its system features and services through the deployment of
new radios, while some other lessee remains locked into today’s receivers.
Customers of the lessee will suffer. The evolution of competitive telephone
service offers a stark example. As a general matter, competitive telephone
carriers (“CLECs”) whose operations depended largely on the leasing of
network elements from incumbent telephone providers fared much worse than
CLECs that were able to provide independent facilities-based service. Similarly,
the Commission only last year found it necessary to revisit its policies
governing cable leased access arrangements because of complaints that
incumbent cable operators have impeded the access of independent
programmers. Approving the Sirius-XM merger will force the Commission down
a similar road because, just like incumbent telephone and cable companies, a
merged Sirius-XM will have every incentive to disrupt and hinder a lessee’s
service.
The Honorable Kevin J. Martin
July 14, 2008
Page 3
• Because a lease arrangement is not a structural remedy that might cure the
anticompetitive effects of a Sirius-XM merger by itself, the terms and conditions
of a lease will require the Commission’s ongoing, endless attention. For
example, the Commission will be forced to supervise the price of the lease to
ensure that the lessee’s customers or vendors are not unfairly disadvantaged. I,
for one, cannot imagine why the Commission would want to needlessly enter
the business of ongoing rate regulation, never mind the fact that such an
approach directly contradicts the 1996 Telecommunications Act and the
Commission’s long-held policy of favoring competition over regulation. Again,
the Commission’s decade-long, resource-draining effort to regulate and enforce
interconnection agreements should be a frightening case in point.
• The Commission’s close, continued oversight of such lease arrangements will
be even more important given Sirius and XM’s repeated violations of the
Commission’s rules, which occurred while Sirius and XM were still forced to
compete with each other. These violations include: (1) the failure to produce
and sell consumer-friendly, interoperable radios; (2) exceeding authorized
power levels for FM modulators; and (3) widespread breaches of the terms and
conditions of their authority to deploy terrestrial repeaters.
• A channel lease that results in “free” service to the public, as proposed by
Georgetown Partners, would trigger the need for a competitive bidding process
under Section 309 of the Communications Act. In turn, this process would
require the Commission to launch a rulemaking proceeding towards the
adoption of a new and different nationwide satellite broadcasting service. The
rulemaking would have to ensure fairness in the rates, terms and conditions of
the lease, to protect against anticompetitive conduct by Sirius-XM and the
lessor.
• The Commission would also have to initiate a proceeding aimed at the terms
and conditions on which the lessor could provide service. For example, as a
non-subscription based service, would the lessor be subject to additional public
interest obligations, like sponsorship identification, localism requirements, EAS,
and others? Such an effort could easily mirror what the Commission has
endured with respect to cable leased access.
• Most importantly, the Commission must resolve all of these issues, especially
the lessee-lessor arrangements, prior to approving the merger. Otherwise, any
The Honorable Kevin J. Martin
July 14, 2008
Page 4
lease arrangements would be meaningless as a combined Sirius-XM would
have a jump start of months, if not years, over its pseudo-competitor.
Any mandatory lease arrangements will require resource-intensive planning and
oversight by the Commission, with no predictable benefit for consumers who will be at
the mercy of a monopoly Sirius-XM, especially given the track record of the failure of
leasing arrangements. On the other hand, the Commission might consider the
suggestions of other groups that advocate for a one-half divestiture of satellite radio
spectrum. No other satellite radio spectrum is available, nor will become available any
time soon. The barriers to entry to compete with a combined Sirius-XM are virtually
insurmountable.
Best wishes.

So how can the TRUTH labeled a "DESPERATION AND TO INSULT KEVIN MARTIN" David K. Rehr is correct in his letter to the FCC. The only "DESPERATION AND TO INSULT" is those not smart enough to comprehend and see the truth in what David K. Rehr's letter points out.

Pocketradio - TROLL
Pocketradio - DEBUNKED

Votes are IN!

Chairman Kevin Martin (R-NC) -NO- (I was just playing good cop, bad cop)
Commissioner Michael Copps (D-WI) -NO-
Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein (D-SD) -NO-
Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate (R-TN) -NO-
Commissioner Robert M. McDowell (R-VA) -NO-

Three Republicans and two are Democrats. All are appointed by the President.

Let's see how good it goes over to Martin who is proud of what he brokered and will not be thrilled with Rehr basically calling him an idiot.

Mp3Candy......

Your mom = subscriber

;-)

Given the opportunity, I would lick Ms. Tate like an ice cream cone on a Mississippi afternoon!

This merger is like a box of chocolates...you never know what you're gonna get!!

NAB trolls on the move.

Regardless of how you feel about this merger, we all agree that the FCC is the finest collection of incompetent, malfeasant assholes Washington has ever produced.

Not so sure about your thoughts about the FCC, they might just be following the plan from day one and putting the screws to Melvin Alan "Mel" Karmazin for his, and the rest of the satradio industries anti-consumer and anti FCC actions. Like Melvin Alan "Mel" Karmazin, the FCC doesn't have to try very hard to fool the ignorant, catching them all hook line, and sinker.

Where in the He11 is Ms. Taint ??