Martin: Sirius, XM decision by Q1; still face "very high hurdle" - Orbitcast

Martin: Sirius, XM decision by Q1; still face "very high hurdle"

| 55 Comments

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin today refused to reveal to reporters much about the current status of the decision surrounding the Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. merger.

But the Martin did indicate that a decision could still come by the end of this month.

"As I have said before, I think they face a very high hurdle," Martin told reporters at the agency's headquarters today. Chairman Martin also noted that the proposed merger directly challenges the FCC rule that prohibits the two from combining.

Martin stated back in January that it was the agency's goal to come to decision by the end of the first-quarter. He reiterated that goal today.

"We're just at the beginning of March," he said. "So I wouldn't say that we still can't get it done by the end of the first quarter."

This obviously isn't set in stone as the FCC still needs to coordinate its decision with the DOJ. Just last month the FCC Chairman said that the agency doesn't have a timeline when it comes to the process.

When asked whether the deal could set a precedent for arguments that today's expanding media marketplace crosses the traditional media boundaries regulated by the FCC, Martin said: "That is the thrust of everything we are doing."

[RadioInk]
Thanks Mark!

55 Comments

Blah , blah , blah . Same ***t , different day .

Martin, I would just like to take this opportunity to say that you are a cowardice piece of shit. You act like you have power, and maybe you even believe that you do, but in fact you are controlled by every lobby group in America. You are the biggest cum slut of them all and when you are gone, this will be the legacy you will be remembered for.

This fiasco has served to help reveal your true colors and the true purpose of the FCC. Simply a bureaucratic whore house with all you prostitutes doing nothing for the community, just looking to suck as much monkey cock as you can in order to keep your jobs.

This might not be a stunning insight, but I think the FCC is stalling on purpose, in the sense that they're hoping this merger is overtaken by events in either the business or political climate and removed from the table. They really don't want to rule on this one.

The last quote in Ryan's excerpt is to me the most revealing. The FCC has a vague notion of how they'd like the media landscape to look in twenty years but aren't sure how to get there. Will strictly defining markets force make some media channels uncompetitive and restrict the choices available? Then the FCC is blamed for impoverishing the landscape. Will relaxing the rules make the conglomerates too powerful? Then the FCC is blamed for ushering in a gilded age of consolidation and monopolies. Nobody knows what's ahead, them least of all, and the pure and simple fear of a decision that ends up being terrible in retrospect is keeping the commissioners on the sidelines.

I don't think anything would make Kevin Martin happier than waking up to hear that XM or Sirius is out of business. My gut says he'd like to approve the merger but he's afraid to.

Here, Here, Monkey Cock Martin, I concur.

Monkey Cock Video

Someone please explain to me again how 2 merged satellite operators will harm consumers? NOBODY needs satellite radio. It is a luxury that competes with FREE radio among many others. Hate to sound redundant but it baffles my mind that our government is so narrow minded and has wasted this much time and money....

People need oil, water, electricity, food, etc...If XM and Sirius merge, no one will be left homeless, hungry, or unable to get to and from work - I promise.

F'ing ridiculous...Our government at its finest.

I am completely against this merger as it is illegal and I commend Kevin Martin for saying this is a high hurdle!

Wow!!!!!!!! You would think they were debating on whether or not to Attack Iran.

>>>> Someone please explain to me again how 2 merged satellite operators will harm consumers? NOBODY needs satellite radio. It is a luxury that competes with FREE radio among many others.

How about you explain what, exactly, whether sat radio is or is not a luxury has to do with anything?

I agree, this merger is illegal, how could 2 companies of this size combine to create this huge vacuum of wealth and holding consumers hostage. I mean this merger will run the economy in the ground! The combined companies could make billions of dollars of profit while consumers bleed their wallets. Here, here, helbent400.

The deal ain't going down kids!

CONTENT IS KING!! CONTENT IS KING! CONTENT IS KING!!!

oh wait, wrong thread.

Looks like Moe found someone he does not like.
Moe I agree with you and i think most people think the same.

They have the CHOICE to UNSUBSCRIBE and go back to shitty AM/FM radio...So to say that consumers would be held hostage with a merged company is ridiculous. they'll stream it online or get FREE local radio.

FCC are just chickenshit.

I couldn't agree more exxon-mobile. Besides those to companies don't have enough money to pay for the merger anyways. Now if Clear Channel wanted to merge with them I'd understand because they can afford it!

If they were going to shoot this deal down they would have done exactly that long ago. By simply delaying their decision they can approve it and then tell everybody that they gave their OK only after long and serious thought. It's all BS, but that's how they work in Washington. The perception that they are busting ass is far more important the the reality of same.

Very good news Ryan! Second time Martin has mentioned end of March. Fantastic!

Unfortunately I will be out of town the whole last week of March and will probably miss all the news. I bet it happens that week! Oh well, I will try to get to the net sometime that week to check out Orbitcast.

So, it isn't going to happen - good. Now, Struble can't get his Vicki, sticky fingers into satrads interoperable receivers. That should keep the HD scammers out of the dash!

So, it isn't going to happen - good. Now, Struble can't get his Vicki, sticky fingers into satrads interoperable receivers. That should keep the HD scammers out of the dash!

What about the DOJ? I thought that they were waiting on them.
How could he mention end of month without the DOJ decision.
Is he going to break the tradition and anounce first?
Or is he preparing the public for a negative decision?
At least someone will give an answer to the people about this.

thank you may i have another please

Another press conference -- Q & A.
Words on paper; new day, same text.
Being nice & Stalling once a month.

Neither DoJ nor FCC will come out of the woodwork for 2 months and burn their fingers saying Yes/Maybe conditional/No.

On May 1st, when predictable nothing has moved from Gov't's side bride and groom will separate and call it a day and move on, separately, as before and florish

Quite openly, they always prepared for that standalone situation. They have grown since, at that.

You will see your stock go up as they get rid of their 80 lawyers, lobbyist companies and other merger distractions.

Then someday soon -- you will see Google, Apple, Newscorp, Viacom and other rich media and techcompanies swarm them and- your stock will go up once again.

Buy & hold.

Or what do you think?

i dont want a merger all the great talent of both organizations dont want it when they talk about on the air is very personal and i believe that the excellent programming will diminish due to the money whore mel and howard will run everyone who has a brain on how to program and entertain will be run off ,mel go to shitadel and help them you would fit in there u cum sucking money whore

Question: What happens if the merger is not approved? Is that the end of satellite radio?

As I have said repeatedly.. if the merger doesn't go thru both companies will become operating subsidiaries of other media conglomerates in short order.. they can't survive long term to get to a truly profitable state (not just cashflow positive or EBITDA positive)..

as the poster above said.. "someday soon -- you will see Google, Apple, Newscorp, Viacom and other rich media and techcompanies swarm them and- your stock will go up once again"

Wait, what? XM and Sirius want to merge?

As someone else has said, this is typical government. It's like watching a judge rendering a decision on the bench. He'll be talking and going through everything how he came to his decision and listening to him you'll think, "he's gonna rule in favor of the plaintiff"....but then the judge closes by saying, "that being said, I'm ruling in favor of the defendant". They always want a person to think the opposite is going to happen.

thank you sir may i have another please

The merger is not a MONOPOLY!! Someone like Bill Gate or Warren Buffet can always come out with a Satellite company to compete with SIRI.

If the government doesn’t let these two companies merger then XM will go out of business and there will be only “SIRI”. (Same as if they merger!!).

This is the best opportunity for the government to regulate “SIRI” because “SIRI” needs the merger; therefore, they welcome government’s opinions and enforcement.

If the government doesn’t allow the merger, XM go out of business, SIRI is the only company left and government attempts to regulate “SIRI” and that is when their enforcement will not be very welcome. In addition, when XM go out of business thousand of JOBS will be lost. Then when they attempts to regulate “SIRI”, “SIRI” will go out of business then more thousand of JOBS will be lost.

The merger is good for the economy and good for business. The company will grow and people will be able to keep their JOBS and more JOBS will be hired allowing people to have money so they can spend it on the economy.

The government needs to realize that this is the year 2000s+ technology is growing at a fast rate. There will be someone or somebody that will come out with a company or product that will compete with “SIRI”. The society that we live in today has no room for MONOPOLY!!

The only HIGH HURDLE I foresee is the Survival of either XM or Sirius should the
merger be denied.

Perhaps what the NAB is seeking with the aide of the FCC and DOJ is the ultimate
bankruptcy of Both Companies. Then Terrestial radio can buy all the assets
(Satellites ETC ) and have a monopoly of ALL RADIO both terrestial and SATRAD.

Sounds like the BIG PLAN to me . There is absolutely no concern for the consumer
in the process taking place now.

It's just a bunch of politicians making/receiving payoffs.

I just want to hear what I hear now on my SIRIUS:
NO COMMERCIALS - I can actually HEAR MUSIC
I can listen to true Classic Rock - Not the same 50 songs repeated everyday for years
I can listen to the Springsteen channel 24hrs a day.
I can listen to many different variety of choices of music!!!

I dont ever want to go back to AM/FM

Also, I would like the stock to go up a little!!!


yea there not going to merge!!! Thanks Kevin Martin seriously you all are making a great decision.

This is beginning to look more and more like the DOJ/FCC version of a "pocket veto." Just sit on the paperwork and sooner or later it will become apparent to the parties that it isn't going to happen - don't plan on it - and the parties just move on. It's the closest thing they can really do without either approving it or denying it.

It isn't going to happen. Let's all just get used to it.

This ain't happening boys.

g'day

Glad to hear the news. But I'd much rather have DOJ and the FCC come out and deny the merger, instead sitting on the paperwork. That would be the proper thing to do. But either way I don't see the merger ever happening, which of course is good news for consumers.

I don't see where you boys get the idea the merger will be outright denied.

I think the Merger will be approved and the HIGH HURDLE Martin is referring to
will be the concessions he has now started negotiating for via the media .

That is why SIRIUS-XM only extended their agreement for another 2-months. Google will buy up SIRIUS and XM will get swallowed up by Microsoft/Yahoo.

Why do you think everyone form XM & SIRIUS have been particulary SILENT in the past month to month & a half?

SIRIUS is negotiating a deal with GOOGLE... YOU ALL HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!!
SIRIUS is negotiating a deal with GOOGLE... YOU ALL HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!!
SIRIUS is negotiating a deal with GOOGLE... YOU ALL HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!!
SIRIUS is negotiating a deal with GOOGLE... YOU ALL HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!!
SIRIUS is negotiating a deal with GOOGLE... YOU ALL HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!!
SIRIUS is negotiating a deal with GOOGLE... YOU ALL HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!!
SIRIUS is negotiating a deal with GOOGLE... YOU ALL HEARD IT HERE FIRST!!!!

Its time for Kevin Martin to resign. The man is incompetent and cant lead. A monkey could be more influential in his position as head of the FCC. what an embarassment as a political appointee.

THE MERGER SHOULD PASS!!! I LOVE SIRIUS AND I WILL JUMP FROM A CLIFF AND DIE IF THERE IS NO MERGER.

To the Voice...

You do realize Sirius is in more dire financial straits than XM, right? I've got both services and they both have their plusses and minuses, but if the merger doesn't happen, I see Sirius in bankruptcy before XM. They have LOTS of debt coming due shortly, which XM doesn't have.

Hi everyone I found this article from a different reporter:

http://www.mediaweek.com/mw/news/tvstations/article_display.jsp?vnu_content_id=1003719370

I thought it would be of interest also.

I agree with some of the posters above . If the merger was going to be shot down , they would have done it , a long time ago .

There is a reason incompetent people work for the Governement....because private industry wouldn't have them. WTF takes 12-14 months ?.... I could fart my way to the moon and back in 14 months! ..... jackasses all.

Mr. Ness in the UK,

I liked your post and I agree, to a degree.

My .02 is that XM will be "tits up" without the merger in

I hope the merger is rejected if only to have my 65K shares of SIRI advance without the deadwood of XMSR, which Panero flew into the ground.

Regards,

Plowboy1

To The Anonymous Coward that posted on March 04/2008 at 11:25 P.M.

Did you look at the balance sheet before speaking? Also, did you do your homework before speaking? Please do your homework before make such outrageous statements!!

Let me give you something... Find out what company lend "SIRI" 250mil, Do you think that company is just going to stand by and watch their 250 mil go down the drain??

Yes, "SIRI" shares price will get hurt if the merger don't go through; however, that is short term!! In the long term they will prevail unless someone come out with another satillite company or as long as the government doesn’t attempts to regulate them since they will be/are the only one left. Once XM is done and the government will try to put their hands on "SIRI", lawsuits will come out and cash burns will increase causing the down fall of "SIRI"!!

Thousand and Thousands of JOBS will be lost if this merger does not go through!! Imagine how many more family will lose their homes if that happen. In addition, how much taxes are lost to the government itself!! Our society right now needs company to stay in business, Not Go Out of Business!!

Yes, I did. Sirius had a little less net loss than XM, but that forgets the debts that Sirius has coming due in the near term.

You also forget that quite a few of their subscribers are there only for Stern and his contract is up in a couple years. I wonder how many will churn when he's gone? The cost to Sirius for Stern will be large when his contract is up...

You also forget that XM has more PAYING customers - Sirius's #'s reflect many parking lot subs that may or may not become a subscriber.

The only reason Sirius is able to buy XM is because Wall St thinks that the big name content is what drives people to the service and Sirius has it in drives. XM has the better technology (remember I have both) and better overall financial outlook.

Sorry, even though I have both I see Sirius being the one folding if the merger doesn't go through. They have that big name content with the big name prices and once those contracts expire they will have a hard time getting the $$ to re-sign those contracts (see Mel practically begging Howard to resign cheaply in the conference call)...

I also have a hard time with the "Thousands and thousands of jobs" thing. If both companies have 2,000 jobs spread out throughout the country that's a lot. I work for a very large utility that has presence in 26 states and we only have around 5,000 employees. Heck, one auto plant closing could put more people out of jobs than the closure of XM and Sirius.

I suggest you do some research and not shoot from the heart.

The highest hurdle this merger faces is all the bribe the NAB has given to these crooks

XM is preparing for big layoffs in the sales and marketing group. After announcing the shut down of several of its vendor support and direct sales efforts, XM is till looking for ways to cut costs without affecting subscriber gains. The rumor floating at EcPlace is that the Circuit City and Best Buy field teams are about to be eliminated. The thinking by Sr. Management is that these teams aren't justifying their cost with lower retail subs coming from Best Buy and Circuit City each quarter.

Management of these accounts will stay within corp headquarters and the hiring of contract help on an as needed basis for special promos will save the company well over $10M. In light of the draw against its credit facility, this move seems wise and timely.

If you ask me - sounds like the DOJ has made a call on this - and the FCC is the hold up.

I think the DOJ and the FCC are a waste of the taxpayers money! It takes them over a year to make a simple no-brainer decision like approving the merger between XM and SIRI. They know it won't be a monopoly because of all the competition they face and it will be good for the consumer as they can choose a cheaper pkg. to listen to - so what's the hold up with the merger approval????

I think the DOJ and the FCC are a waste of the taxpayers money! It takes them over a year to make a simple no-brainer decision like approving the merger between XM and SIRI. They know it won't be a monopoly because of all the competition they face and it will be good for the consumer as they can choose a cheaper pkg. to listen to - so what's the hold up with the merger approval????

I don't see a merged XM/Sirius as a monopoly, just because they're both satellite based. If one were to become defunct, wouldn't the other one, by itself, constitute a monopoly, and therefore both MUST be kept in business?

ISN'T THE SIRIUS MERGER LIKE THE WHOLE FOODS MERGER WHERE THE COURTS SAID THEY COMPETE WITH MOST FOOD CHAINS BECAUSE THEY HAVE A NATURAL FOOD LINE. WHY DON'T THEY GO TO COURT AND JUST BYPASS THE REGULATORS, WHO ARE KILLING THEIR BUSINESS WITH THEIR DELAYS.

It is time to remove martin