Finally, tempering the latest frenzy of satellite radio merger rumors is some clarification about the FCC rules regarding SDARS.
Reuters reports Chairman Martin told reporters yesterday the satellite radio rules prohibit XM and Sirius from combining. Those rules were finalized in 1997.
He added the commission would review any merger plan submitted. (Of course it would.)
Now, some analysts would argue the rules could be changed, depending on how inclusive the agency is when looking at satellite’s competitive world —is it just radio, or does it include MP3 players, the Internet, video, etc.?
I observe that even if parties could get the commission to change its rules, that would take a very long time and NAB would mount a significant opposition … possibly delaying things long enough so that the anticipated monetary benefits to a merger would dwindle while expenses used on getting the rules changed mount.
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