C3SR looks like it may have a new name in the merger proceedings. Sirius and XM, in response to claims outlined by C3SR have given the "alleged subscriber advocate group" a tag name of the "NAB Coalition". The name likely suits C3SR as it seems that most of their activities are directed by as well as financed by the National Association of Broadcasters.
This and other publications have exposed C3SR on many fronts over the past year and a half. Now, Sirius and XM make no bones about the situation, by calling out the NAB directly with their latest filing.
Now, I have stated many times that there are issues within this merger that can be argued from each side in what may seem to be a compelling manner. Most of the latest debate brought forward by C3SR centers around the interoperable receiver.
The NAB Coalition charges that Sirius and XM have lacked candor with regard to an interoperable receiver. They point to statements and documents that on their face may appear to indicate a certain direction or thought process.....but as with anything, there is another side to the story...and that is what we saw today in the latest FCC filing by Sirius and XM.
In simple terms, Sirius and XM point out that they have complied with the interoperable mandate. Again, this matter will be subject to debate. This author has stated in the past that the interoperable issue is in the hands of the FCC. The mandate (or rule) was established, Sirius and XM have certified to the FCC that they have met requirements of the mandate, and that is where the situation stands.
Depending on your interpretation of the mandate, the companies has either complied, or they haven't. However, it is not my opinion, the NAB Coalitions opinion, or even Sirius and XM's opinion that matters. It is the opinion of the FCC that matters, and as yet, we have seen no clear indication as to the FCC's stance on the issue.
Some will argue about the "Intent" of the mandate, and whether or not the "Intent" has been met. Once again, the only opinion that matters is that of the governing body that will define the "Intent". What we have here are two sides of an issue being argued before the governing body that has the ability to make a decision on the matter.
Think of it this way. How often have you heard someone try to define the intent of free speech or the right to bear arms? These debates happen all of the time, and to this day the issue is not resolved. Every once in a while you will see a shift towards one side or another, but in the end, these issues are up for a perpetual debate.
There are aspects surrounding this issue that I have always had an opinion about. I have never been a fan of the exclusive OEM deals. Part of me has felt that giving a consumer a choice in the OEM channel was something that would have been nice. It would not have stopped partnerships however. The deals would simply have been geared towards marketing efforts with GM marketing XM, and Ford Sirius.
In the end, the allegations and requests of the NAB Coalition seem well over the top, and the Sirius and XM response outlines why this is the case.
If the NAB coalition was seeking consumer and subscriber benefit, wouldn't their efforts be better focused on what WILL BE rather than what COULD HAVE BEEN?
The FCC is deciding on a rule change, a license transfer, and what will be in the best interest of consumers. They are not the proper regulatory agency to decide on antitrust issues. That agency, the Department of Justice, has already made that ruling.
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM