Anyone following the Sirius / Xm merger process should be baffled. In a second year now of repeated opposition by terrestrial radio lobbyists and their congressional henchmen, it seems to be getting down again to one common thread. Hybrid Digital radio. Not high definition, although they’d like you to believe that. The reviews of hd radio clearly indicate that consumers are not at all happy with it.

It’s easy to forget past arguments regarding competition and consumer choice. How odd! The same people and groups who cried foul over consumer choice when the merger began, are now suggesting choice be stripped away. They propose to do this by means of a government mandate that will have the effect of forcing all Americans to listen to hybrid digital radio, whether we want to or not. And they’d like Sirius to pay for it!

This proposed mandate will guarantee every person the opportunity, to listen to up to 3 times the commercials than they are currently bombarded with on terrestrial radio stations. How about THAT for a consumer benefit?! Where may I ask does the competition lie in this?

It boggles the mind that the FCC would even consider such nonsense. A conspiracy theorist might question whether or not it somehow gives the government a way of tracking people, because there is no reasonable conclusion a normal thinking person could arrive at.

To see clearly the utter insanity of such a mandate is simple. This proposed mandate is the equivalent of ordering Coca-Cola to include a certain percentage of Pepsi in each bottle. It is equivalent to forcing every Apple computer to include a Microsoft operating platform. To top it off, Ibiquity would suggest that Apple should be forced to pay all costs incurred for including Microsoft XP in their computers! Why are these discussions even taking place?

The NAB has had a stranglehold on the American consumer for decades. We hear what they want us to hear and we buy what they want us to buy. We read what they want us to read….as long as the price is right. This merger represents a chance to level the playing field and actually hear, read and see a perspective that might not agree with a given political candidate or party’s view. Ironically, this merger will raise the overall intelligence of America. People will be MORE informed, with access to information and entertainment from many different perspectives.

Position: Long Sirius, Xm.