Senator Herb Kohl opposed Sirius-XM merger - Orbitcast

Senator Herb Kohl opposed Sirius-XM merger

| 5 Comments

XM Sirius MergerSenator Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) recently sent a letter to the Justice Department and the FCC calling on regulators to oppose the Sirius-XM deal.

Kohl's opposition of the merger is not necessarily new, but being the chairman of the Senate's Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, it does hold some weight. He is in fact the first chairman of the four Congressional panels that held hearings on the merger (Sen. Kohl's subcommittee held the hearing back in late March) to come out against it publicly.

Senator Kohl takes the position that satellite radio is in fact it's own confined market, and not part of an overall audio entertainment marketplace.

He also didn't buy the argument that future technologies threaten the stance of the satellite radio market, writing that "no other technology available today is a substitute for the satellite radio."

"Our concern is the marketplace today. Consumers should not suffer the price increases likely to result from a merger to monopoly because of a vague hope that new technologies may deliver new competitive alternative sometime in the future," he continued.

The problem with Senator Kohl's conclusion is that, if in fact satellite radio is defined as it's own finite market, then this definition opens up either Sirius or XM for takeover by a terrestrial radio corporation (such as CBS Radio) without fear of anti-trust issues.

And that is scary.

[Reuters & Wall Street Journal

5 Comments

I'll bet dollars to donuts that one of Kohl's biggest contributers is the NAB...

Not surprising since almost all US reps are owned by one giant corporation or another (anyone who thinks the government represents the people is naive and/or stupid), I just hope the Satellite radio industry buys a few Senators of their own or the NAB will crush them eventually.

You'd lose that bet, Mike. Senator Kohl is in a safe district, and does not accept any PAC money. He (mostly) self-financed his 2006 re-election campaign, and still spent about 30 times what his opponent spent. He does have financial ties of some sort to a Wisconsin radio station.

Check out www.opensecrets.org for details on his campaign finances.

I'd add that while looking for the kinds of conflicts, Mike brings up, that I was supprised by how small-potatoes NAB is in the big picture. Compared to many other player the $4 million in campaign contributions and $20-30 million they spend on lobbying are just a drop in the bucket.

Admittedly, I'm just looking at the NAB proper. I'm sure their members also individually contribute and lobby...

Sen Kohl is dumb...of course SatRad is a direct competitor to other electronic media...terrestrial radio in particular!

if they weren't, why would the NAB be going absolutely crazy over this whole deal? they hate it because the competition against their archaic and non-innovative business model will be the strongest its ever been.

You are a misinformed asshole. If you have done extensive research into this merger rather than support the lobbyist such as the NAB FOR PERSONAL reasons, you would not be making such idiotic statements. Sometimes it is necessary to call one out and call him an asshole if he so clearly deserves the label. You make it very easy for one to do so. You apparently need an ass kicking some time in the past. If you want to make amends, for being such an ass, I would be surely honored to do so. It is truly remarkable on how many assholes we have representing the people in government. It just shows what big money can buy. Assholes like your self. I have spoken with many who disagree with you ASSessment that there is no form of competition to Satellite Radio. Please at 78 years of age you still don’t get it. It’s never too late for a good ole ass kicking in case you have a slight case of dementia. 78 years old and you are still in office. What a sham. It is time to move on and give us some relief. Possibly you have done some good in the past, I can only hope this was the case, but it is time to call in the dogs, put out the fire.... the hunt is over.

LAST ISSUE. DO YOU HAVE OR HAD ANY POLITICAL TIES WITH ANY OF THE LOBBYIST THAT ARE SPEAKING AGAINST THE MERGER …. SUCH AS THE NAB OR GEORGETOWN PARTNERS? I am a SIRI subscriber and stockholder. Who the hell are you to give part of my company away to anyone, Not to mention they have no right to be given anything without earning it. On the flip side if you ASSHOLES are feeling so generous, why not give Siri and XM shareholders ownership in minority companies such as BET and whatever Georgetown Partners own. It appalls me where our country is heading.

The problem with Senator Kohl's conclusion is that, if in fact satellite radio is defined as it's own finite market, then this definition opens up either Sirius or XM for takeover by a terrestrial radio corporation (such as CBS Radio) without fear of anti-trust issues.

And that is scary.

[Reuters & Wall Street Journal

This only enforces my below the belt opinion of your asinine viewpoint. You must have your head in the sand or up your ass. Which one is it?