As if on cue, merger opponents are once again getting active with the FCC. In filings today, C3SR, Georgetown Partners, and the Consumer Federation of America all voiced merger opposition again.
The C3SR filing consisted of a 33 page rebuttal to the CRA analysis. This time the rebuttal comes from Alan Ingraham and Hal Singer of Criterion Economics. That the opinion of these two matches the opinion of that which has already been filed by Criterion should come as no surprise. The duo feel that the CRA analysis is "misspecified", that the use of cross sectional data limits CRA's findings, and that CRA uses an inappropriate amount of granularity for defining the relevant market. C3SR, which claims to be an advocate for satellite radio subscribers but is funded by the National Association of Broadcasters was active early on in the merger process, but has been very inactive in updating their activities, and has never given any data relative to whether or not they are actually carrying forward the opinion of satellite radio subscribers.
At first blush the Georgetown Partners filing seems to indicate that perhaps we will finally get some answers from the group headed by Chester Davenport, but alas, once again all we have are empty proposals. The filing starts out by stating, "...the attached filing is in response to questions raised at meetings with commissioners and staff."
Davenport instead goes into a "Fix-It-First" explanation, and how his proposal is the "fix" to the problem of competition in the marketplace. Davenport cites various precedent for "fix-it-first" in his filing, but does not address the issue at hand. Basically Davenport argues a narrow market definition of the marketplace and feels his solution is the fix for the situation. However, if the marketplace is broad, then the competitive concerns of Davenport are moot.
CONSUMER FEDERATION OF AMERICA
The filing of the Consumer Federation of America is basically a "reminder note" that the group opposes the merger. The group met with Commissioner Copps and staff on February 19th.
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM