Orbitcast has learned that the National Association of Broadcaster and Clear Channel have been working toward the ultimate goal of forcing Sirius-XM to surrender spectrum, according to an unnamed source.
According to the source, who agreed to reveal this information under condition of anonymity, the merger opponents have suspected all along that the merger would pass. Their strategy has been to make noise under the guise to block merger, then concede and compromise for a spectrum surrender.
"This has been the end game all along," Orbitcast was told.
Clear Channel's most recent filing further solidifies this theory. It also adds to the suspicion that the delay in coming to a decision over the Sirius-XM merger has been the negotiations on how much spectrum the companies will surrender.
I question the level to which surrendering spectrum would make the entire merger useless - and indeed, that may be the merger-opponents' game plan. As I understand it, surrendering spectrum is a deal breaker. Now, I can see Sirius-XM conceding to a "free to air" requirement - in that a percentage of spectrum is alloted to non-commercial/informational programming that Sirius and XM have no editorial control over (as brilliantly proposed by Gigi Sohn). But to carve out a chunk and divest at will? That seems like a deal breaker to me.