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Lobbying on Satellite Merger Increases

Mark Mays is among those who have met with one or more commissioners to talk about it.

Several broadcast and consumer groups have been lobbying the commission recently on the proposed satellite radio merger.

The deal has been under regulatory scrutiny for more than a year now.

Clear Channel CEO Mark Mays met with Chairman Martin to discuss Clear Channel’s concerns, according to an ex parte filing.

Georgetown Partners has visited the commission several times this month to buttonhole commissioners and staffers, according to filings. Georgetown Partners has proposed that, as a partial remedy to the adverse competitive effects of the proposed merger, Sirius/XM lease a portion of their infrastructure and at least 20 percent of their channel capacity on a permanent basis to a minority-controlled entity to create competition and diversity in the satellite radio market place.

Public Knowledge has been pressing its case too, reiterating that the commission subject XM/Sirius to four conditions as a requirement for deal approval: That it offer a la carte or tiered programming pricing choices; make 5% of its channel capacity available to non-com programming; not raise programming prices for three years; and make the technical specs of its devices open “to allow manufacturers to develop, and consumers to use, any device they chose without interference.”