I was in the big House Judiciary Committee Anti-Trust Task Force hearing Wednesday on satellite radio. There were so many people who wanted to observe that the staff had to open an overflow room next door in the Rayburn House Office Building.
The daily and antitrust reporters grabbed all the seats at the inadequate, tiny press table, leaving radio trade press to scatter ourselves among the lobbyists. That means we were in the uncomfortable chairs. (The press table was even tinier than the Republican committee staff’s table. You know that the Dems get the big staff table now, right?)
NAB staffers handed us stickers that read “No Satellite Radio Monopoly.”
The hearing was interesting in that we were treated to a first-hand listen to arguments the sides will use to favor or oppose the merger. It’ll be interesting if any of those change between now and March 7 when Rep. Ed Markey, D-Mass., holds a similar hearing before his Telecom and Internet Subcommittee.
Judiciary Chairman John Conyers, D-Mich., foreshadowed this when he ended the hearing by saying, “We’ll be watching carefully” as the other committees look at the issue.
“(The) next year will be an exciting one as this develops.”