Antitrust Group Urges FCC to Block Satellite Merger

“Nothing in the recent decision of the Department of Justice not to challenge the merger … has changed our views.”
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An antitrust group told the FCC this week it should block the satellite radio merger.

The American Antitrust Institute said in a letter to Chairman Kevin Martin, ���Nothing in the recent decision of the Department of Justice not to challenge the merger … has changed our views.”

As the commission has noted, its standards for merger review differ from the DOJ’s. Citing recently proposed satellite TV mergers, the AAI says the standards in this case “are starkly different because the applicants must demonstrate that the commission’s rule barring a single firm from controlling the two licenses ... should be repealed and that the commission’s long-standing policy of promoting competition in the delivery of spectrum-based communication services should be abandoned.”

It continued: “The Department of Justice did not address this issue, let alone offer a compelling reason to think that competition in SDARS is no longer feasible or that a monopoly in the spectrum is preferable to competition.”

Nothing in the DOJ’s analysis suggests the satellite radio companies are “unlikely” to be viable without the deal, said AAI.

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