XM-SIRIUS VOTE ON HOLD at FCC as swing vote Commissioner Tate leaves the country without weighing in on merger.
Not very informative, just a single headline with no article. Anyone know where she was headed?
A long-awaited FCC vote on the XM-Sirius merger won’t be completed this week and it may take several weeks for all the commissioners to vote, we've learned. That’s because FCC Commissioner Deborah Tate has left on a trip to Africa without voting on the merger, and several issues are unresolved, we’re told. Tate has emerged as a swing vote on the merger, we’re told. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin three weeks ago circulated among his fellow commissioners a draft order to allow the merger. Sirius and XM agreed to merge a year ago February.
Tate initially was poised to oppose the merger. But in recent weeks her opposition has softened, as attorneys for XM and Sirius have dealt with her objections, said industry and FCC sources. The commission record in the proceeding includes ex parte filings on several meetings between Tate and attorneys for XM and Sirius. Among those in to see Tate was Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin, who brought former FCC Chairman Richard Wiley to a meeting June 26. Several issues still trouble Tate, sources said Monday. These include how to address iBiquity’s demand that the FCC require HD Radio reception in all satellite radio receivers with AM/FM tuners to level the playing field between satellite and terrestrial digital radio.
Tate and others at the FCC also have concerns about whether the FCC must take enforcement action against XM for operating 240 of its 800 or so terrestrial repeaters outside FCC rules, or whether the agency can put off a decision while committing to act on the violations. Another issue is whether XM and Sirius will promise not to run
ads through local repeaters. Other commissioners have been waiting to see how Tate votes, meanwhile refraining from voting electronically. Commissioner Robert McDowell is still looking over the order but is expected to vote to approve the merger. The FCC’s two Democrats, Michael Copps and Jonathan Adelstein, have expressed concerns.
Tate could vote on the order electronically by instructing one of her advisors to use the FCC voting system, but she's not expected to do so. Meanwhile, attorneys general Robert Cooper of Tennessee and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut discussed their concerns with merger with Tate on a phone call Friday. They were joined by aides from counterpart offices in a dozen other states. Several urged rejection of the merger, said an ex parte letter filed at the FCC. “The States explained that as enforcers of both antitrust laws and consumer protection laws, they have concerns with the proposed merger in light of the important role played by satellite radio as a national source of information and entertainment for consumers,” the letter said. “The States explained that genuine competition creates competitive pressure that spurs technological innovations, diverse programming, lower prices and creative marketing options for the benefit of consumers.”
-- Howard Buskirk
Last edited by zcurzan; 07-08-2008 at 01:46 PM.
Looks like Sirius chased chased her away. They meet on the 8th, and then the day after she's on the next plane to Africa.
Imagine if one of the dems swing to the other side unexpectedly.
How do they compete if they don't exist?“The States explained that as enforcers of both antitrust laws and consumer protection laws, they have concerns with the proposed merger in light of the important role played by satellite radio as a national source of information and entertainment for consumers,” the letter said. “The States explained that genuine competition creates competitive pressure that spurs technological innovations, diverse programming, lower prices and creative marketing options for the benefit of consumers.”
Last edited by voogru; 07-08-2008 at 08:47 PM.
Well we can't expect the AG's to read a balance sheet, or between the lines for that matter. But we also can't expect a CEO to yell fire in a crowded theater of stock holders. Our hands are tied.
That's why I kind of appreciate Cramer et al saying it for us. We don't have to make the point, or agree to it publically, but hopefully the message is sticking with someone at the FCC.
You want competitive pressure? Let Mongo off the leash and watch the terrestrial fat cats squirm.
Tate HAS NOT left the country. She was in her office today.... I don't care what that thing says they "were told"...amazing that no mention was made to the meeting yesterday involving Tate and Riley...