XM-Sirius Merger Should Go Forward

Washington, D.C., July 9, 2007—The proposed merger of satellite radio companies XM and Sirius should be cleared by the Federal Communications Commission, according to regulatory comments filed today by the Competitive Enterprise Institute.

"Satellite company mergers are one element of an evolving marketplace that increasingly magnifies consumer choice and ability to customize information; not merely information received, but also that which individuals themselves create or assemble for distribution to others," said Wayne Crews, Director of Technology Studies at CEI. "That personalization coexists with media enterprises that exist on a gigantic scale."

Opponents of the merger have suggested that a combined XM-Sirius would raise antitrust concerns, but that would only be the case if their market were defined so narrowly as to intentionally exclude all other competitors beside XM and Sirius themselves. Both companies exist in an intensely competitive market for news and entertainment content currently being accessed by consumers across an array of media.

"Bureaucrats cause untold damage when they undermine network industries’ efforts to orient themselves, to attain the scale appropriate to fostering customization, and to achieve such feats as moving global information to the exosphere as satellite operations do," said Crews. "Liberalizing spectrum for future satellite and communications operations—not restraining the private operations of those that now exist—should be FCC’s focus."

Full text of CEI’s comments can be found here in PDF.