Sirius-XM Merger: FCC Commissioner meeting last week - Orbitcast

Sirius-XM Merger: FCC Commissioner meeting last week

| 53 Comments
Kevin MartinAccording to recent filings with the Federal Communications Commission, representatives from Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. continue to meet regularly with top officials at the agency, indicating a final decision could be near.

On March 28th, two weeks ago, counsel for Sirius and XM met with FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, along with the Chairman's Chief of Staff Daniel Gonzalez, and Martin's Senior Legal Advisor Michelle Carey.

Another FCC filing (PDF) reveals that on April 2nd, last Wednesday, again representatives from both satellite radio companies met with Chairman Kevin Martin, Michelle Carey, and Catherine Bohigian.

These recent meetings most likely aren't much of a surprise. But it's the most recent meeting, last week, that could be prove to be of greater significance.

Last Friday, Richard E. Wiley of Wiley Rein LLP, counsel for Sirius, met with Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate to discuss "pending issues raised in recent filings." This is actually the first direct meeting between the companies and an FCC Commissioner this year (indeed, after sifting through dozens of records, I couldn't find a single instance where reps from either Sirius or XM met with a Commissioner). 

Of course, reading the tea leaves with this merger has proved to be a fairly futile effort, so it's difficult to characterize this as an indication that an FCC decision is "imminent." It's been "imminent" since last fall. But the fact that Commissioners are now directly meeting with the companies themselves holds some weight that can't be ignored.

[View the FCC filing (PDF)]

53 Comments

Tea leaves smee leaves! Someone should clunk their heads together like Moe from the 3 stooges!

Enough already! Make a damn announcement! :-)

I definitely think there is some significance to this. Remember, the Liberty Media/Direct tv deal never appeared on circulation at the FCC nor was it on their agenda for their monthly meeting. The deal was finally announced the day of the FCC monthly public meeting but had been voted on by memorandum before that. There is a good possibility we will get an announcement at the public meeting tomorrow or maybe Friday.

Total speculation on my part, but I bet we hear a decision Monday after ICO Communications launches their satellite.

Total speculation on my part, but I bet we hear a decision Monday after ICO Communications launches their satellite.

A Commissioner meeting is DEFINITELY significant. Thank yoU!!!

If there is an approval, I hope that it incldes a peeling off of bandwidth to GP, ICO, and any other entity that wants to get on board. I hope that the merged company has to give back some of its bandwidth and install HD. I hope that the most onerous conditions are plced on the merged entity in order that we can see how much they'll give to accomplish a merger. If they agree to all the imposed conditions, then we'll really know that what a lot of people suspect is true: these companies (SIRI and XM) are in serious danger of imminent collapse.

that's the silliest thing i've ever read...what good does that do anyone? that and $0.50 won't even get you a Coke anymore...

14 Months. That's all you have to know.

14 months of incompetence.

Screw the FCC!

When I invested in satellite radio (a commercial entity) and purchased a subscription, I did not intend to invest in a charity (Georgetown Partners) or want my subscription dollars to subsidize a charity. If I wanted to do that, I would have donated my money to a cause of my choosing. I do not want the FCC making that choice for me.

It is time for the FCC to show the Georgetown Partners the door and approve this merger without conditions, immediately.

I guess certain radio show hosts shouldn't have bashed the FCC all those years.

hoo me

hoo me

hoo me

hoo me

Hoo me

oh, great. we've just been presented with the latest retard.

Just like the Washington Capitals , the FCC is a bunch of incompetents .

That was a very important meeting. It is good that commisioners do that before they decide what to vote. I hope that Karmazin has his lawyers on top of this deal because there is a lot of negativity around which is not justified but it still affects people.
I hope that a-la-carte will be a reality soon and people will finally pay for what they want.
Everyone is trying to get a piece of this deal which is unfair.

But Karmazin made a huge offer: You can have content from both services for less than it costs today!!! You can keep your receiver and you can have your current service for the same price you pay today if you want!!! Plus a- la-carte, plus lower price plans!! WOW! He did not leave much for people to protest for.
The NAB proved that there is competition. And so did conclude the DOJ. The FCC has to shape the deal and make sure that Karmazin will keep his word.
Well, Karmazin does keep his word. He will not trick the FCC or the consumers. Do not forget that this is a subscription service-luxury, if you feel betrayed you can turn it off.

Also Karmazin with this deal saves XM from disaster and millions consumers that have XM receivers. Also does good for both companies and shareholders and saves the economy from another hardship.
It is ironic to see all this negativity around it. Let's see what they decide! As for timing, They are already late so waiting longer is not a problem for them.

The FCC does not care about the shares going down or consumers holding their purchase of sat-radio for after the merger. It harms the companies though and the "NAB and friends" are happy to see this lasting beyond the time extension that SIRI US and XM agreed for.

For the love of God.. lets get on with this...I got grey hairs waiting for this to move forward.

I'm sure all your comments regarding the legal analysis that should be taken by SIRI/XM is carefully being read and reviewed by the partners and associates at Wiley Rein.

Whatever would they do without your legal assitance?

God Bless you one and all.

FINAL FCC DECISION:

1. very few restrictions. the question here is whether to allow to merge or not in interest of public. the answer is no merger, death to 1 if not both companies; merger= 1 more audio content provider that happens to beam from a satellite (it could be terrestrial radio, or HD radio, or internet radio or cell. phone radio etc)

2. restrictions will be limited to ala carte (Martin's baby), and maybe a small loss of spectrum for non profit type stuff. why, because if the FCC totally cuts down their combined spectrum, then what the point of the merger? why all the mess? the companies would then NOT be interested in a merger and all this would be for not. SO NO, the FCC will not substantially harm their spectrum, it would make the FCC look like a goofy preacher left at the altar while the bride-to-be and groom both get cold feet and run in the opposite direction.
3. At this point I would venture to guess there will be about 18.2 MILLION SUBSCRIBERS for the new
SIRIX OR WILL IT BE XIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO???

If there is an approval, I hope that it incldes a peeling off of bandwidth to GP, ICO, and any other entity that wants to get on board. I hope that the merged company has to give back some of its bandwidth and install HD. I hope that the most onerous conditions are plced on the merged entity in order that we can see how much they'll give to accomplish a merger. If they agree to all the imposed conditions, then we'll really know that what a lot of people suspect is true: these companies (SIRI and XM) are in serious danger of imminent collapse.

This is all Gates fault! He wanted a computer in every household and now we have to deal with idiots who type things like above every day! Anonymous coward you're a sad bitter man! I hope they do put restrictions on a price cap for a few years but that's it!

What's wrong with expressing what you feel? I really believe that both XM and Sirius need to get exactly what they want - a merger. The FCC should get what it wants - onerous conditions that make XM?SIRI rethink how badly they want to (read this meam "need to") merge and let's get off to the races.

This merger has nothing whatsoever to do with the consumer but rather the broken and failed business plan these companies chose to undertake; they got away from music, they got into expensive sports and entertainment programming that no one really cared a bout; they acted stupidly and now seek to be rewarded.

I hope they get what they want - conditions and all.

HD Radio here we come. Smart consumers will not stand for a satrad "merge" MONOPOLY.

http://www.hdradio.com/

HD Radio campaign kicks off
http://www.geek.com/new-hd-radio-campaign-kicks-off/

"Best of all, unlike satellite radio, which provides similar quality and many of the same features, there is no monthly subscription fee."

"HD Radio is truly the future. As we convert to HD television broadcasts it seems pretty logical that the radio should come along for the ride as well. Honestly, XM and SIRIUS can thank HD Radio for helping to get their merger approved by the U.S. Department of Justice. HD Radio offers some serious competition to satellite radio. The biggest reason is that HD Radio is free."


"HD Radio -- It's Time to Upgrade!"

F the FCC!

WTF is HD Radio anyway? i know what HDTV is and I can't live without it but what in the hell is HD radio? Is it supposed to be a better sound quality? If people think that a more crisp or clear sound is going to take listeners away from satellite your smoking sweedish cheeba. Shitty radio that sounds better is still shitty radio.

Clark W. Griswold shows ignorance is bliss
Sirius/xm shows they are getting desperate for "merge" MONOPOLY

"It’s the most significant advancement in radio broadcasting since the introduction of FM stereo more than 50 years ago. HD Radio technology enables AM and FM radio stations to broadcast their programs digitally – a tremendous technological leap from the analog broadcasts of the past."
http://www.hdradio.com/what_is_hd_digital_radio.php

"Since HD Radio is a free broadcast, all you have to do is get a new HD Radio receiver for your home or car. Prices are plummeting as more and more people are discovering what HD Radio is all about.

"HD Radio -- It's Time to Upgrade!"

HD Radio The thinking man's radio.... NO to satrad MONOPOLY's

You can put whipcream(HD radio) on a terd(terrestrial radio) and its still terrestrial radio! That's for all of you anonymous cowards who believe better sound quality is why people subscribe to SatRad.

Manchester,

Your comment shows that your both:

a) Blind, ignorant satrad fanboy sheep
b) Ignorant to what HD Radio add's to traditional terrestrial radio.

NO to Sirius/xm "merge" MONOPOLY
YES to HD Radio The thinking man's radio


"HD Radio -- It's Time to Upgrade!"

"merge" MONOPOLY = retard

Your new mashup word is gay and you are a coward, post under your name.

and HD radio means nothing, it a FAKE term to make a shity form of radio sound better than it is, and it still has 20min a hour of ads.

I love how the HD shills that are posting here make no mention of the fact that HD Radio isn't "national".

So you mean once I leave my hometown, I have to find a new station to listen to? You mean I can't listen to this new content no matter where I am in the US?

No thanks. Why bother. When I can get SatRad everywhere I drive for business?

And no mention from the HD Radio shills about commercials.

kevin martin- get your head out of your butt, and approve this merger.... i dont know what the hold up is...

@Annonymous COWARD: Clark W. Griswold shows ignorance is bliss

@Clark W. Griswold: Shitty radio that sounds better is still shitty radio.


No COWARD, I think Clark is exactly right. The only thing HD allows the radio stations to do is broadcast more channels of the same crap they had before. Different Style, same shitty radio.

I should know about "gay" I, tom c. is gay. I'm also a desperate ignorant satrad fanboy.

Tacokid you are ignorant to the FACTS of HD Radio. No where does HD Radio claim to be "national" Most people like LOCAL radio.

Brian R you are also ignorant to the FACTS of HD Radio.

NO to the satrad "merge" MONOPOLY

So rather than just skating around the issue, why dont you educate our ignorant minds? Give us the facts that make HD radio the best thing since sliced bread, then we can all put "HD Radio -- Its time to upgrade!" in our signatures.

You throw insults around, but can you throw facts around? Step up to the plate. Educate us.

I got an old HD reciever I bought last year I will give away for free. The thing was a total waste of money. You really do get what you pay for sometimes.

I got an old HD reciever I bought last year I will give away for free. The thing was a total waste of money. You really do get what you pay for sometimes.

Brian R.

Links for the facts of HD Radio were sent educate your "ignorant" self blind satrad fanboy.

NO to "merge' MONOPOLY
YES to HD Radio The thinking man's radio


"HD Radio -- It's Time to Upgrade!"

AC,

We have lots of ignornt satrad fanboys like Brian R. here who even if they understood how to use the links you posted wouldn't understand the facts about HD Radio. You are quite right about the fact they are blind, ignorant satad fanboys. I also agree that this "merge" is nothing but a MONOPOLY bad for consumers, bad for satrad. Did some looking around myself about HD Radio aka the future of radio since satrad with this "merge" MONOPOLY is making itself the past.

Today’s HD Radio technology features include:

FM Multicasting – the ability to broadcast multiple program streams over a single FM frequency (e.g. 97.7-1, 97.7-2, etc.)
Static-free, crystal-clear reception
FM sounds as sensational as CDs
AM sounds as rich as analog FM stereo
A variety of “data services,” including text-based information – artist name, song title, weather alerts, school closings, etc. scrolled across your receiver display.
Digital broadcasts in the same frequencies as analog broadcasts; listeners do not need to learn a new station number and today’s stations remain at their current place on the dial
Local content
Free
And this is just the beginning. New and innovative features are under development including:
Real-time traffic reports broadcast by local stations and visually displayed on a vehicle’s navigation system
Surround Sound
Store-and-Replay – Will allow listeners to rewind a song they just heard or record an entire program to play back at a more convenient listening time
On Demand Capabilities – Will give listeners instant access to news and information
“Buy” button – Will turn the radio into an interactive device for e-commerce, allowing for instant purchases of everything from concert tickets to advertised products.

Sure satrad fanboys might argue "you get what you pay for" but HD Radio = Free and Free radio = Good.

The Buzz About HD Radio Broadcasting
http://www.ibiquity.com/hd_radio/quotes_about_hd_radio

Like AC SAYS:
NO to "merge' MONOPOLY
YES to HD Radio The thinking man's radio


"HD Radio -- It's Time to Upgrade!"
http://www.ibiquity.com/hd_radio/hdradio_buy_an_hd_radio
http://www.ibiquity.com/hd_radio/hdradio_buy_an_hd_radio/hdradio_products

You are forgetting that HD is almost nonexistent in smaller markets below #100. The price point is too high for many small market owners, and they won't bother investing in it anytime soon because the radios are nowhere to be found...because they are worthless if nobody is broadcasting in HD locally.

A classic "chicken or the egg" situation has developed in small markets. HD will remain a large market technology for the foreseeable future.

What are these people going to do if satellite radio goes bankrupt? Be stuck with barking preachers and hee-haw music all over the dial? Even if HD eventually makes it to small markets, it will still be barking preachers and hee-haw music in HD.

Sounds like it sucks to be them.

I like how I am ignorant, when in my posts I actually said that HD Radio wasn't national (statement of fact) and that there are commercials (statement of fact).

My point is that HD Radio's website which I did in fact go to and read over, makes no mention of these facts.

Attitudes like yours are at the core of why FM Radio is a mess.

Dwarf: "Like AC SAYS:
NO to "merge' MONOPOLY
YES to HD Radio The thinking man's radio"


HD is dead. Completely, irrevocably dead.


http://www.audiographics.com/agd/091707-1.htm

Dwarf: "Like AC SAYS:
NO to "merge' MONOPOLY
YES to HD Radio The thinking man's radio"


HD is dead. Completely, irrevocably dead.


http://www.audiographics.com/agd/091707-1.htm

No TacoKid your just ignorant. Where does HD Radio says it's stations are available around the nation?

Sorry blind sheep ignorant satrad fanboy next time don't read anything into things which are not there.

NO to Satrad "merge' MONOPOLY
YES to HD Radio The thinking man's radio


"HD Radio -- It's Time to Upgrade!"


"Sorry blind sheep ignorant satrad fanboy next time don't read anything into things which are not there.""

Yeah - especially since HD radio sales are in the toilet. Know why? No one cares! It was dead before it started.

Sorry, loser!

http://www.bridgeratings.com/press_1.17.07.HDPercep.htm

"Sorry blind sheep ignorant satrad fanboy next time don't read anything into things which are not there.""

Yeah - especially since HD radio sales are in the toilet. Know why? No one cares! It was dead before it started.

Sorry, loser!

http://www.bridgeratings.com/press_1.17.07.HDPercep.htm

Nothing is for free, HD is silly, no one really cares for quality. That is why the MP3 is so popular. Terrestrial radio still is filled with commercials, the program directors don't care for content they just want to sell ads. The range is still about the same with HD radios so it doesn't do well with traveling in a car or truck long distances or in remote areas.

To be honest we have been listening to a lot of satellite radio but never new it. Tons of radio stations are not as local as we think. They pipe their programs across the country and mask out national adds with local ads. Most ClearChannel stations do this.

So Sirrus and XM combining would not be a monopoly at all, just another source that skips the middle man. Main obstacles for this is the middle men.

Satellite Radio: RIP
http://whydoeseverythingsuck.com/2008/03/satellite-radio-rip.html

Sirius + xm = "merge" aka MONOPOLY to those that know how to think.

NO to Satrad "merge' MONOPOLY
YES to HD Radio The thinking man's radio


"HD Radio -- It's Time to Upgrade!"
http://www.hdradio.com/

HD RADIO IS RETARDED, WHOVER BOUGHT ONE IS RETARDED, YOU CAN GET THE SAME QUALITY ON FREE RADIO.

THAT'S LIKE SAYING, I WANT TO WEAR LIONS FUR, WHEN U CAN GET CHEAP WOOL.

Uh "retarded" Anonymous Coward......

HD Radio is "FREE RADIO"

Satellite Radio: RIP
http://whydoeseverythingsuck.com/2008/03/satellite-radio-rip.html

Sirius + xm = "merge" aka MONOPOLY to those that know how to think.

NO to Satrad "merge' MONOPOLY
YES to HD Radio The thinking man's radio


"HD Radio -- It's Time to Upgrade!"
http://www.hdradio.com/

Uh "retarded" Anonymous Coward......

HD Radio is "FREE RADIO"

Satellite Radio: RIP
http://whydoeseverythingsuck.com/2008/03/satellite-radio-rip.html

Sirius + xm = "merge" aka MONOPOLY to those that know how to think.

NO to Satrad "merge' MONOPOLY
YES to HD Radio The thinking man's radio


"HD Radio -- It's Time to Upgrade!"
http://www.hdradio.com/

Sirius + xm = "merge" aka MONOPOLY to those that know how to think.

You're not one of them.....