Gadgets Clear Channel Wants to Deal With FCC on XM/Sirius Merger
Shane McGlaun (Blog) - February 13, 2008 12:23 PM
Clear Channel says it will stop fighting the XM/Sirius merger with a few conditions
It’s been a year now since XM and Sirius Satellite Radio sought regulatory approval to merge the two companies. The merger has met with resistance from the National Association of Broadcasters and most recently resistance to the merger has been from iBiquity, the company behind HD Radio.
Clear Channel is an investor in iBiquity and says that while they still feel the merger of XM and Sirius would represent an illegal monopoly, they are willing to negotiate with the FCC. What Clear Channel wants is for the FCC to require the merged XM/Sirius company to integrate a HD Radio tuner into every satellite receiver they make. They also want to bar the merged company from seeking any exclusive arrangements with the auto industry according to Ars Technica.
Another of the selling points on the merger for Clear Channel would be for the FCC to lift the limit currently setting an eight station max for the number of stations that can be owned in an Arbitron-designated market. Clear Channel wants the cap increased from eight to ten stations in areas that have 60 to 74 stations. Clear Channel wants a cap of 12 station in larger cities.
There has been no word from the FCC on the Clear Channel proposal and the XM and Sirius merger is far from a done deal. DailyTech reported in September of 2007 that the two satellite radio giants were still battling for merger approval.
Many expected a ruling on the merger in January of 2008. January came and went without a ruling on the merger. Sirius and XM have already announced their proposed a la carte plans as an example of the improvements and the savings to be had from the merger.