First, they feel that all four bidders understood at the time of the spectrum auction that the two winners would not be allowed to merge. It is Primosphere’s stance that all bidders bid less than they actually might have if they knew they could merge, and that because of this the U.S. treasury got less than they actually could have. Primosphere goes on to state that if the merger is allowed, that conditions should apply:
1. The merged company pay additional funds to the government because the value of the licenses is greater now than it was at the time of auction, and because the concession of allowing Sirius and XM to merge carries an additional value.
This is an interesting comment, but is it really relevant? All bidders bid under the same rules, and hindsight is always 20/20. There are many things that exist today that simply did not exist when the auction happened. One could argue that the value is less now than what was paid at auction as well, by citing i-Pods, cell phones with streaming content, HD radio, and high speed Internet. The true value of these SDARS licenses has yet to be realized, and the competitive landscape changes have been substantial.
2. In an even bolder move, Primosphere reiterated their stance that the merged company should not only give up spectrum to Primosphere, but that Primosphere should be allowed to broadcast their content over the current Sirius and XM satellites so that Primosphere can immediately become a competitor.
Now, how can they take position number 2 after making position number 1? Wouldn’t the fourth original bidder have something to say about this? How about CBS Radio, which has been rumored a few times as having an interest in satellite radio? Mabey a Google or a Yahoo would want to step up to the plate. In fact, if a business is going to be virtually handed out, there would be many companies who would express interest.
If Primosphere has compelling content, why don’t they syndicate it now? Surely any programming that was of good caliber would be of interest to various radio stations, both terrestrial and satellite.
America is built on capitalism, not free handouts. Primosphere is simply playing a lottery ticket, and we all know the odds of their suggestions coming to fruition.
Position – Long Sirius, Long XM