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  1. zcurzan is offline
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    07-17-2008, 03:25 PM #1

    Headline: Possible deciding vote will support with tougher conditions

    Possible deciding vote on $3.1 billion merger between satellite radio companies says he will support approval if the companies agree to tougher conditions


    Unless Tate had a sex change or Copps had an epiphany we are talking about Adelstein. I wonder what kind of tougher conditions he is after?

  2. zcurzan is offline
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    07-17-2008, 03:28 PM #2
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- The potential deciding vote in the U.S. government's review of the $3.1 billion merger between satellite radio companies tells The Associated Press he will vote in favor of the deal if the companies agree to tougher conditions.

    So far, two of the five members of the Federal Communications Commission have voted to approve Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. That is one vote shy of a majority.

    FCC commissioner Jonathan Adelstein, a Democrat, wants the companies to cap prices for six years and make one quarter of their satellite capacity available for public interest and minority programming, among other conditions.

    If the executives agree, Adelstein told the AP that he will be in favor of the deal.

  3. zcurzan is offline
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    07-17-2008, 03:34 PM #3
    When you "cap" a price I wonder how that is determined, on a "pre channel" basis? What if you introduce new types of packages, what kind of requirement are they subject to? Six years seems kind of extreme. A lot can change in an economy and in an industry in six years. You are really handicapping the company.

    What are the thoughts on the 25 percent set aside? You only get lease revenue from the portion given to the minority programming, not for the public interest right? Will that cripple the company? Or is it something they can manage?

    Final question? Does this shed any light on where Tate might be? To me it seems like we've set the worst case scenario for Tate's requirements, she certainly would never demand more than Adelstein, a democrat. Maybe this is an opportunity for her to disagree with Adelstein, and pass with less requirements like her fellow Republicans.

  4. voogru is offline
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    07-17-2008, 03:35 PM #4
    This is might as well be a "no" vote.

    Can't change prices for SIX years (2014!!!), and give up 25% of the spectrum to entities that will broadcast free radio and probably compete with Sirius on their own system, which will further hurt the viability of the merger.

    At least he doesn't want them to include HD Radio.

  5. zcurzan is offline
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    07-17-2008, 03:40 PM #5
    Quote Originally Posted by voogru View Post
    This is might as well be a "no" vote.
    Does this provide any evidence as to whether Tate has voted yet or not? This could be his way of rejecting the proposal within that ten day window.

  6. deewcom is offline
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    07-17-2008, 05:15 PM #6

    25 Percent Seems Excessive

    25 percent is excessive even in its most favorable intepretation, ie: That the company maintains control of that 25 percent. Its least favorable manifestation (whereby the NAB gets would get its hooks in that 25 percent) sounds particularly crappy. I hope that Adelstein is open to compromise. Perhaps 10 percent without NAB hijacking for its own profit motives is something both sides can live with.

  7. zcurzan is offline
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    07-17-2008, 05:29 PM #7
    Here's hoping Tate makes it a moot point in the near future.

  8. Dlite is offline
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    07-17-2008, 06:06 PM #8
    I may be the minority here (no pun intended), but I would accept this offer rather than no merger at all. I would make it a condition, however, that Sirius XM manages the 25% and it is not leased out to other companies (NAB, Georgetown, etc.). That would be a deal breaker.

    That would be 36 public interest and 36 minority channels. After synergization, there will be more than enough remaining channels to sport an attractive lineup. Plus these set asides will attract new customers (at better prices).

    I'm not as crazy about the 6 year freeze, for the same reasons as the rest of you -- the uncertainly mostly -- but I would still take it. The company should still be able to find alternate revenue streams, and I think they can still achieve profitability.

    And no HD chip whatsoever. That is also a dealbreaker (and frankly, stupid).

    I see this news as good as I expected Adelstein to be a no vote, but am still hoping Tate will come in with lesser conditions (or none at all).

  9. winagain35 is offline
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    07-17-2008, 06:49 PM #9
    I think Adelstein's 25% is leased spectrum and most definitely a deal breaker.
    Let's hope that he's just trying to force Tate's hand and that she comes through with a reasonable compromise. He's certainly opening the door for her to look like the hero, even though her concessions will likely still be onerous compared to Martin's.

  10. crfceo is offline
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    07-17-2008, 07:00 PM #10
    At least he doesn't want them to include HD Radio.
    Bad news....he DOES want low def radio....

    "Adelstein is proposing that the companies be required to include a digital radio tuner in any radios they subsidize that also include regular, non-digital AM-FM service."

    It's a no vote...he just wants to make it look like he was willing to deal, so that it falls on the companies...

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