just dug it up...It looks like C3SR started out as a single XM subscriber, but it makes me wonder. Any older subscriber knows the channels as "streams"
New Advocate for Consumers of Satellite Radio Service
WASHINGTON, DC (January 12, 2007) – A group of law students at the George Washington University (“GWU”) in Washington, D.C. have announced the launch of a new consumer advocacy group dedicated to ensuring continued competition in the digital satellite radio industry.
The “Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio” (“C3SR”), a student-run organization created on behalf of the 13 million digital satellite radio subscribers, has been spawned in response to rumors about the potential merger of XM and Sirius. Analysts predict that XM and Sirius will have nearly 19 million subscribers by the end of 2007. No other consumer group in existence today is solely dedicated to protecting the interests of those satellite radio subscribers.
Last year, reports of merger talks between XM and Sirius began to surface in the general press. These rumors have intensified this year. Executives from both Sirius and XM have been quoted in various trade press articles as discussing the possibility and benefits of a merger. These rumors have fueled Wall Street’s optimism that a merger is imminent. Without good consumer advocacy, an XM/Sirius merger would drastically threaten the status quo for XM and Sirius subscribers. “The competitive duopoly in satellite digital radio created by the FCC in 1997 is clearly at risk,” according to Chris Reale, one of C3SR’s founding members. “If the only two companies operating in the satellite radio industry are permitted to combine, consumers not only will lose their choice, but they will be totally at the mercy of a monopoly provider.”
Reale, an experienced Washington, DC advocate and second year law student at GWU, became interested in the issue while studying the potential harm posed to consumers when large corporations merge to monopolize a particular industry. “There I was studying antitrust concerns from a consumer perspective while these executives from Sirius and XM—operating in an industry with no other competitors— were chatting away on the merits of a merger.
When I subscribed to XM back in 2005, I had a choice. Now it
looks like some of my favorite channels may disappear and/or the subscriptions fees will go up if this merger happens.” C3SR will make its debut this week at the National Conference on Media Reform in Memphis, Tennessee.
Initially, C3SR plans to raise consumer awareness about the potential negative impacts of a merger. “Hopefully, when, and if, Sirius and XM announce a merger agreement and pursue regulatory approvals,
we will have enough support and momentum to ensure that existing subscribers don’t get the shaft,” said Reale.