Rehr to Mel: Call Off ‘Government Bailout’ Request - Radio World

Rehr to Mel: Call Off ‘Government Bailout’ Request

David Rehr wants to end the satellite merger so he’s trying the direct route: writing to Mel Karmazin.
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David Rehr wants to end the satellite merger so he’s trying the direct route: writing to Mel Karmazin.

Rehr has urged the satellite radio companies to withdraw their merger application “in the best interests of consumers and competition.” The president/CEO of NAB called the merger a request for “a government bailout for operational and financial missteps that have depressed stock prices, and in turn, investors.”

In a three-page letter to the Sirius Satellite Radio CEO and released by NAB, Rehr says Karmazin’s recent characterization of NAB’s lobbying efforts against the merger as “disgraceful” are misguided.

“We freely admit to identifying antitrust experts who have examined the proposed merger and determined that it will harm consumers and competition, and compensating these individuals for publishing their conclusions,” stated Rehr.

Many other analysts and subscribers have come to the same conclusions on their own, “without prodding from NAB.”

A review of the comments submitted by the satellite radio companies in support of the merger “is largely based on empty promises,” Rehr continued, saying he doesn’t know how the companies would offer more channels after they merge because “the law of physics would seem to prohibit” them from freeing up more channels for niche programming.

Analysts who seem to favor the merger seem to be under the mistaken impression that satellite radio subscriptions would decrease if the merger were approved by regulators, Rehr wrote.

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