We have written about an anti-merger form letter that is being submitted to the FCC, and today another 131 of these have been published to the FCC website. Through some investigation we have been able to determine that the people submitting this in many cases are not satellite radio subscribers, and their experience with the proposed satellite radio merger is limited to the information in the form letter.
According to one source we spoke to the survey asked, "If you are against a monopoly in satellite radio click here." She also stated that she had no real information about the merger other than what was presented in the survey. Some respondents we have spoken to also seem to be unaware that they have submitted an individual comment to the FCC by way of answering the survey.
The NAB was critical of a Sirius and XM survey two weeks ago charging that the questions were geared towards a certain response. That opinion can be up to debate, but what can be said is Sirius and XM did not submit an FCC comment for each respondent in the survey. They did submit the results of the survey, and the questions that were asked in the survey.
To be clear, there is no proof as yet that the anti-merger form letter campaign is sponsored by the NAB, but what is clear is that only those respondents who respond a certain way (anti-merger) are getting forwarded to the FCC. Confirmation of just where this survey is coming from has not yet been obtained. Most we have spoken to remember taking a survey that mentioned satellite radio, but do not remember any specifics beyond that. The fact that these people seem to have limited recollection as to the issue, and seem to know little about the proposal is quite telling.
Last week we stated that 60% of the anti-merger comments have been from this particular form letter, and that percentage is now growing further. This form letter is now approaching 2,200 submissions to the FCC. The questions that need to be asked are these:
1. Are submissions such as these intended to skew the sentiment on the merger?
2. Is there a legal ramification if people are not aware that a comment is being filed on their behalf with the FCC?
3. Who is behind these comments?
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM