Senators John Kerry (D-MA), Claire McCaskill (D-MO) and Ben Cardin (D-MD) weighed in on the merger between Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. saying that the concessions don't go far enough.
In a letter sent to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin on Friday, the high-profile Democrats said that the 8% of spectrum set-aside is not enough to ensure "viable competition" to the combined company.
Kerry (pictured), McCaskill and Cardin added that it needs to be at least 20%, or as many as 50 channels, to be to their liking.
The senators also want Sirius-XM to be required to build HD-radio capability into their receivers, calling it an "essential check" on the ability of the merger company to "stifle" competition from digital-radio broadcasting.
"The proposed conditions fail to provide meaningful competition in the SDARS marketplace and would leave the merged entity in a position to exercise its market power in anticompetitive ways against other media, including free, over-the-air radio," the senators wrote.
Kerry, McCaskill and Cardin closed the letter by saying that they still opposed the merger, but that their suggestions would "mitigate the harms to the public and consumers" if the FCC goes ahead with the deal.
[Broadcasting & Cable]