Two powerful Democratic House members who lead committees that regulate communications urged the FCC to impose certain conditions on the satellite merger should it approve the deal.
Reps. John D. Dingell, Mich., chairman of the House Commerce Committee, and Ed Markey, Mass., chairman of the Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet, said in a letter to FCC Chairman Martin that if the deal is approved, the company should be required to adhere to the price constraints they originally proposed.
Dingell and Markey also asked the commission to ensure that any device manufacturer is able to develop equipment that can deliver the new company’s satellite radio service. Device manufacturers should be allowed to incorporate into new sat rad receivers any technology that would not result in harmful interference with the new company’s satellite network, “including HD Radio technology, iPod ports, Internet connectivity or other technology,” they wrote.
They said the company also should be prohibited from limiting consumer access to these devices or features that might be included in such devices through exclusive contracts. “It would be contrary to the public interest, for example, to permit the merged company to bar HD Radio chips or iPod compatibility” from being included in a new satellite radio device, “whether that device is freestanding or installed in an automobile,” they stated.
Dingell and Markey stressed they are not taking a position on whether the agency should approve the merger.