Sunday, December 23, 2007

iBiquity (HD Radio) Would Like to Impose Conditions

iBiquity Digital Corporation met with the FCC on December 19, 2007, to discuss the merger of XM and Sirius. Although iBiquity does not take a position on the merger, it is concerned that the combined entity will hinder its ability to introduce HD Radio in the marketplace. It is concerned over the exclusive arrangements that XM and Sirius have with the automobile manufacturers. It says XM and Sirius may have used subsidies and incentives with the OEMs to discourage the proliferation of HD Radio. A merged entity will have a "stronger economic position and more cash to fund subsidies and incentives".

As a remedy to the merger, iBiquity recommends that the Commission imposed the following two conditions:

1. Require that HD Radio be included in all satellite radio receivers.

2. Require tha tthe merged entity terminate all exclusive agreeements and to prohibit all such agreements with suppliers, retailers, and the OEMs.

iBiquity has generously agreed to license it patents on reasonable and nondiscriminatory terms and to make its technology available for inclusion in dual use receivers.

Satellite radio paid a small fortune to have the OEMs include satellite radio in automobiles. iBiquity appears to want a free ride. It would seem to be unfair to make this a requirement for satellite radio and would undermine satellite radio.

The satellite radio providers might welcome the second requirement.

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Anonymous said...

Whining to the FCC - iBiquity are scumballs:

Anonymous said...

Obviously ibiquity will stop at nothing to get their krappy non-starter, jammer, range stopper into a "successful" product unlike theirs. If this comes to pass it will be like mandating an 8 track player be put into an ipod, but I wouldn't put it past this crooked, huge corporation loving FCC to cave in to ibiquity even though it is the biggest lead balloon to come along on a while which has and will go nowhere.

Bert said...

The Commission considered mandating that all digital radio be interoperable, including terrestrial digital radio (now called HD Radio). Since terrestrial radio had been slow to make progress on digital radio, the FCC chose not to hinder the development satellite radio with this requirement. Since satellite radio failed to make their radios interoperable, the FCC could give consideration to this request. Perhaps the FCC should go further and mandate that HD Radio to be interoperable with satellite radio.