XM-Sirius merger talks still in limbo - O&A prominently featured in Money.com article

TheOnion

East Side Dave Fan
#2
Speaking of merger I received this email today from Senator Herb Kohl.

Dear Mr. XXXX:

Thank you for taking the time to contact me. I always
enjoy hearing from people back home in Wisconsin. I apologize
for the delay in my response, and I would like to take this
opportunity to respond to your inquiry regarding the XM-Sirius
satellite radio merger.

As you know, the proposed merger between XM Satellite
Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio is now under review at the
Department of Justice and the Federal Communications
Commission. I am greatly concerned about the effect this merger
could have on competition and consumers.

The Senate Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy
and Consumer Rights, of which I am Chairman, held a hearing on
March 20, 2007 entitled; "The XM-Sirius Merger: Monopoly or
Competition from New Technologies." During this hearing, we
examined the competitive issues surrounding the merger. After
completing our examination, I have concluded that this merger
would cause substantial harm to competition and consumers.
Following this hearing, I wrote a letter to the Department of Justice
and FCC regarding our findings and my position on the merger.
My letter urged both agencies to take action to block the merger.

As the only two providers in the satellite radio market, it is
my belief that a merger between XM and Sirius would create a
monopoly and is therefore contrary to antitrust laws. I also believe
that the merger would harm consumers by forcing them to take
whatever price is dictated by the one provider in the satellite radio
market. Entry of new satellite radio competitors into the market is
not likely to occur in near future, due to high cost of entry and
licensing hurdles. Although proponents of the merger suggest that
binding conditions including price caps and tiered pricing choices
would protect competition and consumers. I do not believe that
these conditions would sufficiently protect consumers and would
mean that satellite radio would be subject to intrusive government
regulation for years to come.

I plan to continue working with my colleagues on the
Antitrust Subcommittee to study the competitive implications of
this and other proposed mergers. You can be assured that I will
continue to monitor this situation carefully to ensure that
consumers do not suffer a significant loss of competitive choices as
a result of this deal. My goal is the preservation and enhancement
of a competitive market structure in the telecom industry in order
to provide consumers with lower prices and better quality of
services.

Again, thank you for contacting me. I appreciate having
the benefit of your views.
 

norton23

Opie And Anthony Always Win In The End
#3
Can anybody remind me as to why this merger would suck? I really don't see Hoo Hoo caring so much about O and A being within the same company. After all they were at Infinity together correct?? I guess O and A's thunder might be taken away by stern a bit,,,,,But since both companies wan't a merger wouldn't you think that there is a good reason?

If it effects O and A in a negative way I am fully against it but give some feedback to those of us who don't really understand fully the negative effect (s) this could have on the bbbboys.
 

Kid Brock

No longer VegasBrock
#4
Can anybody remind me as to why this merger would suck? I really don't see Hoo Hoo caring so much about O and A being within the same company. After all they were at Infinity together correct?? I guess O and A's thunder might be taken away by stern a bit,,,,,But since both companies wan't a merger wouldn't you think that there is a good reason?

If it effects O and A in a negative way I am fully against it but give some feedback to those of us who don't really understand fully the negative effect (s) this could have on the bbbboys.

Basically if the merger goes through Mel becomes the boss, Mel hates OnA and loves Howard. Therefore their would be a good chance that OnA would no longer exist on XM/Sirius.
 

norton23

Opie And Anthony Always Win In The End
#5
I know all about Mel but he and hoo hoo are not stupid,,,,all they have to do is look at the numbers,,,the second thing is that the merger is something both companies wan't because of them struggling right now,,,,if there isn't a merger there may be no XM or Sirius in the end anyway....
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
#6
Can anybody remind me as to why this merger would suck? I really don't see Hoo Hoo caring so much about O and A being within the same company. After all they were at Infinity together correct?? I guess O and A's thunder might be taken away by stern a bit,,,,,But since both companies wan't a merger wouldn't you think that there is a good reason?

If it effects O and A in a negative way I am fully against it but give some feedback to those of us who don't really understand fully the negative effect (s) this could have on the bbbboys.

Once upon a time there were two phone companies Ma Bell and all the little Baby Bells (Northern Bell, Southwestern Bell, Southern Bell etc etc etc) provided your local service and AT&T provided your long distance. The phone company was forced to divest because there was no competition in eitehr market, which is why you can now choose AT&T or a myriad of others as your local & long distance provider. Same with cable - Verizon is now allowed to provide broadband cable as competition to Cablevision, or Cox or whatever the major carrier in a certain area is, and if DirecTV and Dish weren't allowed to merge because it would violate anti-trust laws and remove any sort of competition, why then should satellite radio merge?

The merger might or might not hurt OnA - it's speculative on both sides of that issue. What is not speculative is that the merger will definitely hurt the consumer. Right now, both XM and Sirius are priced about the same because they are competing against each other for customers. They both provide the same basic service with the exception of some "exclusive" programming. As a result, if Sirius or XM were to raise their subscription costs, the casual listener will jump to the competition. If they merge and become one company, they can raise prices without having to worry about losing subscribers since there will be no competition from which to choose.

make sense?
 

xm allday

Registered User
#7
The bottom line is if The Boys have numbers they will be fine... It don't matter what Howard or Mel think. Why would Mel fire a show that has a bigger audience than Howard? Its all about Mel making $ right?
 

TheOnion

East Side Dave Fan
#8
The bottom line is if The Boys have numbers they will be fine... It don't matter what Howard or Mel think. Why would Mel fire a show that has a bigger audience than Howard? Its all about Mel making $ right?

Mel might not fire O&A, but he would probably force them out of their Morning slot to protect his best friend Howard.

It would probably sound like this:

"Prumpfffff We shouldn't have two morning shows, prumpfff. Therefore Opie & Anthony shall be promoted to mid-days following Howard Stern. Pumphhhfff prumphhhffff prumpffff."
 

weakside

He was stupid. I was lucky. I will visit him soon.
#9
Once upon a time there were two phone companies Ma Bell and all the little Baby Bells (Northern Bell, Southwestern Bell, Southern Bell etc etc etc) provided your local service and AT&T provided your long distance. The phone company was forced to divest because there was no competition in eitehr market, which is why you can now choose AT&T or a myriad of others as your local & long distance provider. Same with cable - Verizon is now allowed to provide broadband cable as competition to Cablevision, or Cox or whatever the major carrier in a certain area is, and if DirecTV and Dish weren't allowed to merge because it would violate anti-trust laws and remove any sort of competition, why then should satellite radio merge?

The merger might or might not hurt OnA - it's speculative on both sides of that issue. What is not speculative is that the merger will definitely hurt the consumer. Right now, both XM and Sirius are priced about the same because they are competing against each other for customers. They both provide the same basic service with the exception of some "exclusive" programming. As a result, if Sirius or XM were to raise their subscription costs, the casual listener will jump to the competition. If they merge and become one company, they can raise prices without having to worry about losing subscribers since there will be no competition from which to choose.

make sense?
Great example and nice post.

Not sure if it will hurt O&A (or Ron and Fez for that matter) but it will almost certainly hurt the consumer. Competition is always a good thing.
 

boatail

Registered User
#10
#s

#s or not there is no way howard would let them compete directly against him . if it was to go thru. O+A would lose the cbs gig as well as the morning slot that they have wanted since being in NY . mel already stated he would not let both platforms co-exist . satalite or nothing .
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
#11
#s or not there is no way howard would let them compete directly against him . if it was to go thru. O+A would lose the cbs gig as well as the morning slot that they have wanted since being in NY . mel already stated he would not let both platforms co-exist . satalite or nothing .
O&A and Hoo Hoo are minor players in the grand scheme of things. Go back up & read Post #6 - I think I explained it pretty concisely. WE are the ones who will be hurt and not because something may or may not happen to O&A. Take a look outside and see the bigger picture.
 
#12
If I own both Sirius and XM I pay twice as much to own both. If they merge I stand to pay less for the basic services and whatever I pay on top for enhanced services won't be equal to having both with the redundant programming.

Now I mean we can all sit here and talk about "Hoo Hoo" and Mel, and everything else but go to Congress and testify with that as an argument and you'll be laughed out of Capitol Hill.

Like I've said earlier. I understand O&A fans don't want anything to happen to the show, but it's going to take a little more than that to sway most consumers who could give less than a shit, and a Congressional committee. There are plenty of people out there who don't live in big towns with shitty radio choices who would like to own both services. And as of now that's only possible if they buy each individual service.

To buy the combined service and even have an additional radio would still be cheaper. Once again. Make a logical argument against the merger, not hyperbole about howard Stern and Mel. The general public out there does not care.
 

loki2486

Registered User
#13
Well that was the thought before the suspension that if a show pulls the number, then the company would stand firmly behind them... that has been proven wrong. The boys have the #1 show on XM, and yet they were suspended, may have been fired, for a comment made by a homeless person.

The popularity of a show does not guarantee its survival. Especially, when the new boss is fully supporting the rival show.

It's possible that the merged company not renew the show's contract letting Howard have sole control to the single satellite market. The boys cannot compete with that with all the restrictions in the FM market, and they don't have a rival satellite to go to.

Stop the merger.

If people think that a merger is necessary for the survival of the satellite platform, that what they want you to think. The truth is that they will get more money because the merged company would not have to compete against each other for their contents. I don't think that they would pass the savings to the consumers.
 
#14
Here we go again.

"Mr Chairman, I rise to offer my opposition to this because Howard Stern will gain too much power.....And as we know, mel Karmazin hates Opie and Anthony......"

OK Terrific. What the hell did I expect?
 

doobdoob

Registered User
#15
Sirius needs this merger because they went shitwild hiring Hoo Hoo for 500 million, and they went the quick and easy route to gain a ton of subs (lower subscription costs, free subs, etc). This allowed them to become the larger satrad company. Now, they're able to buy XM to bail themselves out of it, dividing the strain of all that expenditure between the two companies.
 
#16
If I own both Sirius and XM I pay twice as much to own both. If they merge I stand to pay less for the basic services and whatever I pay on top for enhanced services won't be equal to having both with the redundant programming.

Now I mean we can all sit here and talk about "Hoo Hoo" and Mel, and everything else but go to Congress and testify with that as an argument and you'll be laughed out of Capitol Hill.

Like I've said earlier. I understand O&A fans don't want anything to happen to the show, but it's going to take a little more than that to sway most consumers who could give less than a shit, and a Congressional committee. There are plenty of people out there who don't live in big towns with shitty radio choices who would like to own both services. And as of now that's only possible if they buy each individual service.

To buy the combined service and even have an additional radio would still be cheaper. Once again. Make a logical argument against the merger, not hyperbole about howard Stern and Mel. The general public out there does not care.


XM and Sirius merger = monopoly. period. i could give 2 shits about people in the sticks w/ shitty radio choices, i'm sure they have much more on their minds than which sat to subscribe to. if you're paying for both services it's your own business, i don't care to listen to sirius or what it has to offer. as it stands, i've cancelled my XM and if there is a merger, i SHAN'T be resubbing.
 
#17
XM and Sirius merger = monopoly. period. i could give 2 shits about people in the sticks w/ shitty radio choices, i'm sure they have much more on their minds than which sat to subscribe to. if you're paying for both services it's your own business, i don't care to listen to sirius or what it has to offer. as it stands, i've cancelled my XM and if there is a merger, i SHAN'T be resubbing.
Well you're entitled to your opinion.
 

d0uche_n0zzle

**Negative_Creep**
#19
Sirius needs this merger because they went shitwild hiring Hoo Hoo for 500 million, and they went the quick and easy route to gain a ton of subs (lower subscription costs, free subs, etc). This allowed them to become the larger satrad company. Now, they're able to buy XM to bail themselves out of it, dividing the strain of all that expenditure between the two companies.
:clap:

Nail on head.
 

Kris_LTRMa

LoseTheRadio.net's Ma
#21
If I own both Sirius and XM I pay twice as much to own both. If they merge I stand to pay less for the basic services and whatever I pay on top for enhanced services won't be equal to having both with the redundant programming.

Now I mean we can all sit here and talk about "Hoo Hoo" and Mel, and everything else but go to Congress and testify with that as an argument and you'll be laughed out of Capitol Hill.

Like I've said earlier. I understand O&A fans don't want anything to happen to the show, but it's going to take a little more than that to sway most consumers who could give less than a shit, and a Congressional committee. There are plenty of people out there who don't live in big towns with shitty radio choices who would like to own both services. And as of now that's only possible if they buy each individual service.

To buy the combined service and even have an additional radio would still be cheaper. Once again. Make a logical argument against the merger, not hyperbole about howard Stern and Mel. The general public out there does not care.

I've been offering logical reasoning against the merger and have factored out O&A, Hoo Hoo & Mel. So have a lot of others here. You just don't seem to get it. The merger does nothing to protect the consumer. You keep arguing that combining the two services would be cheaper than paying for separate services. First of all, nobody is going to pay for both XM & Sirius; that would be like paying for DirecTV and Dish Network - they offer the same basic services.

Think of it like this - every Sunday you get circulars with your newspaper for area grocery stores. The average consumer spends a portion of their Sunday going over the circulars to find out who has the best sale that week and that's where they do their weekly shopping. Even without a sale, the supermarkets are comparable in prices give or take a few cents. Let's say there are only two supermarket chains in the area. A can of whipped cream is going to be around $1.99 whether you go to Store A or Store B. Now, if Store A and Store B decide to merge into Super Store C, the consumer has no choice but to shop there. If the new company wanted to raise the price of that whipped cream to $19.99 they'd be able to do so - there's no competition & they know that people will pay the $19.99....they have no choice - either fork over the money or go without whipped cream. Once Super Store C sees that people will pay for it, they'll raise it up to $25.99 etc etc Why? Because they can

XM & Sirius are comparable in pricing because they have to be - they are your Store A and Store B and they want to merge into Super Store C. Your estimated $25 subscriber fee now goes up to $40 or higher. Why? Who's going to stop them? They know the consumer has no other choice - they either pay the $75 or go without pay radio service.

Go back to post #2 and read Senator Kohl's letter to TheOnion. It's all there in black & white.
 
#22
XM & Sirius are comparable in pricing because they have to be - they are your Store A and Store B and they want to merge into Super Store C. Your estimated $25 subscriber fee now goes up to $40 or higher.
That's just not going to happen. You and I both know this.
 

dms964

Registered User
#23
Think of it like this - every Sunday you get circulars with your newspaper for area grocery stores. The average consumer spends a portion of their Sunday going over the circulars to find out who has the best sale that week and that's where they do their weekly shopping. Even without a sale, the supermarkets are comparable in prices give or take a few cents. Let's say there are only two supermarket chains in the area. A can of whipped cream is going to be around $1.99 whether you go to Store A or Store B. Now, if Store A and Store B decide to merge into Super Store C, the consumer has no choice but to shop there. If the new company wanted to raise the price of that whipped cream to $19.99 they'd be able to do so - there's no competition & they know that people will pay the $19.99....they have no choice - either fork over the money or go without whipped cream. Once Super Store C sees that people will pay for it, they'll raise it up to $25.99 etc etc Why? Because they can
Go back to post #2 and read Senator Kohl's letter to TheOnion. It's all there in black & white.
It's more likely that instead of whipped cream that people would buy cool whip or ice cream or just do without, and that the whipped cream would have to come down in price to compete. Without the merger there is little doubt that both companies will raise prices in the near term, one right after the other. It would be easy to see Mel agreeing to a set price in order to get this through, thus it would be better for the consumer. Plus this isn't Directv and Dish where the only difference is the carrier, these 2 companies have different programming. The consumer would benefit having all sports, Stern, O&A, Oprah and Martha under one roof. We've seen repeated posts here about how people are ditching XM to go with iPods or other things, but you still doubt that satellite competes against those???
As for Kohl, he's not exactly an impartial judge. In owning the NBA's Bucks, he has both an interest in a local radio station and he would certainly be interested in keeping his satellite radio NBA rights fees as high as possible. If Sirius and XM are not bidding against each other, rights fees figure to at the very least level off, thus impacting Kohl's immense pocketbook. Somehow I think his wallet may have more to do with his comments than your wallet.
 

jwla35

Registered User
#24
It's more likely that instead of whipped cream that people would buy cool whip or ice cream or just do without, and that the whipped cream would have to come down in price to compete. Without the merger there is little doubt that both companies will raise prices in the near term, one right after the other. It would be easy to see Mel agreeing to a set price in order to get this through, thus it would be better for the consumer. Plus this isn't Directv and Dish where the only difference is the carrier, these 2 companies have different programming. The consumer would benefit having all sports, Stern, O&A, Oprah and Martha under one roof. We've seen repeated posts here about how people are ditching XM to go with iPods or other things, but you still doubt that satellite competes against those???
As for Kohl, he's not exactly an impartial judge. In owning the NBA's Bucks, he has both an interest in a local radio station and he would certainly be interested in keeping his satellite radio NBA rights fees as high as possible. If Sirius and XM are not bidding against each other, rights fees figure to at the very least level off, thus impacting Kohl's immense pocketbook. Somehow I think his wallet may have more to do with his comments than your wallet.
Very good post, I couldn't agree more. I love my satilite radio, but if the price started going up to much I'd have no problem getting rid of it. I've had my eye on a video Ipod anyway.
 
#25
I once had a conversation with a friend of mine regarding Wal-mart and why a "super dominant" company or a monopoly is bad for all of us. We were at a Wal-Mart at the time. He didn't see the point in complaining. "Wal-mart has great stuff and it costs less", he said. As we walked out to his car, I asked him to look around the shopping center. "All of these stores have products that compete with Wal-mart", I said. "Now imagine that Wal-mart puts each and every one of these stores out of business, the ONLY choice we'd have left would be "Wal-mart. Do you think those batteries would be so cheap then?" The Wal-mart example fits this discussion, if Mel Karmazin were basically put in charge of an ENTIRE radio category, he can pick and choose what shows he favors over others. He could give Howard (or O&A for that matter) dictatorial control over content/shows/employees. etc for ALL of the company (and by default, the Sat Radio category). He could kick them off FM (a disastrous move) or just fire them altogether with nowhere to go. The idea of giving one capricious bastard singular control over an entire medium is potentially a disaster for the industry. XM and Sirius have to continue to convince the buying public that paying for this content is worth the price and MORE. iPods are putting ALL media content providers under fire. That market force is showing NO signs of weakening.
 
Top