While Ibiquity Digital says it has no formal opinion on the satellite radio merger, it has told the FCC that if approved, the combined XM and Sirius would be in a better position to block HD Radio from the car through exclusive deals with automakers.
Ibiquity lawyers were at the Portals on Dec. 19 to meet with 11 officials of the FCC’s Media Bureau, Office of General Counsel and International Bureau.
In a notice to the FCC summing up the meeting, Ibiquity urged the agency to condition approval of merger with a requirement that HD Radio technology be included in all satellite radio receivers and that all “exclusive arrangements” between the satcasters and automakers be terminated.
Noting that the satcasters “may have used subsidies and incentives paid to the auto manufacturers and their suppliers to discourage proliferation” of HD Radio products, the satcasters should be banned from “entering into exclusive arrangements with suppliers, retailers and automobile manufacturers in the future,” Ibiquity wrote.
The letter is notable in part because Ibiquity licenses technology to both XM and Sirius.