Sirius XM agreed not to raise basic subscription price for three years as a condition of the FCC approving the merger of those two satellite radio companies.
Now, the company has told the FCC in a letter to Media Bureau Chief Bill Lake that the “voluntary commitment” ends on July 28 of this year.
Sirius XM would like the deal to end, though it did not say it intends to raise the monthly subscription price. Noting that the audio entertainment market is “more robustly competitive today” than in 2008 when the merger was approved, the satcaster cites growing competition from AM/FM radio, HD Radio, iPods and other portable audio devices, which increasingly support Internet-based services such as Pandora, Rhapsody, Slacker, Last.fm and iheartradio.
The competition is acute in the car, “with several automakers introducing features integrating Internet-based services, further reducing any remaining arguable hurdles to the seamless use of smartphones, iPods and other portable audio devices in vehicles,” writes the satcaster.
It specifically cited the Ford Sync and new Toyota Entune integrated multimedia system as proof of what the Justice Department predicted when it closed its investigation into the merger: that competitive technologies then under development would offer alternatives to satellite radio.
Sirius XM asked the commission to let the current price cap expire without changing or extending it.