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Summary:

We’re not going to write about every twist-and-turn of the Sirius-XM merger process — that would be close to full-time employment — but we…

We’re not going to write about every twist-and-turn of the Sirius-XM merger process — that would be close to full-time employment — but we will keep you posted as events merit. Today’s installment picks up with Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin under the heat lamp at a hearing of the Senate Judiciary Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights. According to AP, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-Wis.) didn’t quite take to the idea that the combined company would still have significant competition: “We must view these claims with a healthy degree of skepticism. Over-the-air radio does not come close to duplicating the impressive array of program offerings of satellite radio.” Karmazin stuck to the company line. (He’s good at that: he’s just as fervent a spokesman for sat radio now as he was way back when for terrestrial.) Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), AP reports, was more receptive: “I personally don’t believe that there will be a lack of competition if you’re successful.”
The NAB’s Mary Quass said the real problem was local radio wouldn’t be able to compete with the combined power of a national satellite service: “XM and Sirius want government permission to take two competitive companies and turn them into a monopoly.”
— Karmazin once again said he was open to regulatory oversight of price increases as a condition.
MCN: Ted Hearn focuses on Karmazin’s slight turnaround from saying last month the services couldn’t handle a la carte plans to promising rebates for “adult” content customers don’t want and to block that content. However, he would not promise Sen. Sam Brownback (R-Kan.) to ban indecent material from 6 a.m. to 10 p.m.

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  1. Given Mel's exclusive background in terrestrial radio, one might suspect he's a mole planted at Sirius to bring down satellite radio from within.

    Could there be a seat on the NAB Board being kept warm for him in retirement?

    From whence does his pension come? Could it be, after all those years, from terrestrial radio?

  2. Amy are you ok? Pension? I don't think Mel is even concerned about that and the fact that he's CEO of sirius and a Sirius stockholder proves that. Let's keep the comments sane!!!

  3. Karmazin is already flip flopping. I knew this was going to happen. We better all hope this merger is blocked.

  4. With the intoduction of HD radio that is a free service, (with the cost of the new reciever for your home or vehicle) I dont believe there is going to a problem with lack of competition.

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