Finally, we have heard news of Commissioner Tate’s position following a temper tantrum by Commissioner Adelstein. There was a lot of news today as it seemed Adelstein set out to destroy Xm and Sirius stock when he made his vote public and reversed his position. Adelstein had cited a hope for bipartisanship stating:
“I was hoping to forge a bipartisan solution that would offer consumers more diversity in programming, better price protection, expanded choices among innovative devices and real competition with digital radio,” Adelstein wrote. “Instead, it appears they’re going to get a monopoly with window dressing. We really missed a great opportunity to reach a bipartisan agreement that would have benefited the American people.””
This news wasn’t out 5 minutes when news leaked that Martin was close to getting Commissioner Tate to vote in favor of the merger. Throw bipartisanship out the window! From there a press release was issued seemingly every minute as the day progressed. It is for that reason that I wanted to revisit this.
Now that we know how the vote will turn out, what about the concessions? Adelstein’s statement leads me to believe that the 25% spectrum divestiture is now off the table. If this is true, it looks as though Georgetown will have failed in their hijacking attempt. It also gives the impression that Commissioner Tate has opted for open access which Sirius and Xm have offered, instead of the communistic hybrid digital chip mandate. Ibiquity will actually have to hire salespeople to promote their unwanted product.
The WSJ reports that Sirius will pay a fine and only lists “minor” concessions added. My guess is that the main concessions she is adding will be regarding oversight of the proposed concessions and possibly a few extra channels.
Position: Long Sirius, XM.