Thursday, October 25, 2007

XM and Sirius Oppose NAB's Bid to Stop Clock

In the FCC comments on the merger today, XM and Sirius opposed the NAB's and US Electronics' petition to stop the merger clock (see Orbitcast article NAB wants FCC to stop the clock).

The NAB's motivation is pretty clear; they will do anything to stop the merger. One has to admire the NAB's undying commitment to its members. They are just earning their keep. U.S. Electronic' (USE) motivation is less clear. It has been carrying the ball lately in the effort to derail the merger. USE lost its lawsuit against Sirius. One has to wonder if this is its motivation for playing the spoiler.

Sirius' and XM's arguments are persuasive. One of the NAB's argument to stop the clock is that it has filed for information concerning the FM modulator fiasco under the Freedom of Information Act. The NAB has been unable to obtain the information. XM and Sirius argue that the names of the manufactures and distributors, the names and titles of employees, the recollection of present and past employees, and the responses to the Commission's Letter of Inquiry are irrelevant. We agree. So does the Enforcement Bureau. They make one very good point in a very amusing (perhaps biting is a better word) way:

Instead, NAB claims without a hint of irony that without the unreleased records, which are already in the Commission's possession, the Commission "cannot make an informed decision regarding whether the Applicants can be relied on to keep their promises and comple with any conditions."

They seem to almost belittle USE for its "me too" petition, calling their arguments "a hodgepodge of unconnected and irrelevant assertions that should also be decisively rejected by the Commission." We take exception to one of XM's and Sirius' arguments. The interoperable receivers are relevant to the merger. One of their arguments for not having them today is that no manufacturer wants to manufacture them. The same will hold true for the receivers required to receive both XM and Sirius promised as part of the merger. They could use the same argument post merger to renege on this promise. But, in general, we agree with the satellite radio providers. USE's arguments are like a loose canon, aimlessly wandering about, wreaking havoc everywhere it touches. Even a blind hog finds an acorn now and then.


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1 comment:

MUSCLE13 said...

"The NAB's motivation is pretty clear; they will do anything to stop the merger."

Please Bert! Everything has changed. The NAB has shifted its focus to their own ownership dereg. I doubt you hear even ONE COMMENT from them on the sat merger issue from here on out.