Weiner: ‘This Isn’t the 1970s’ - Radio World

Weiner: ‘This Isn’t the 1970s’

Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., doesn’t think a merged satellite radio company would create a monopoly, and said Sirius and XM can’t prevent another company from entering the market. Referring to their business models, he asked: “Who in their right mind would want to get into that marketplace?” which generated laughs in the room.
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Anthony Weiner, D-N.Y., doesn’t think a merged satellite radio company would create a monopoly, and said Sirius and XM can’t prevent another company from entering the market. Referring to their business models, he asked: “Who in their right mind would want to get into that marketplace?” which generated laughs in the room.

But in seriousness, he said, “the 1970s tone of the discussion” needs to stop. “The fact that Mr. Rehr is fighting so hard means there will be more competition” if the merger goes through.

Mark Cooper of the Consumer Federation of America just about came out of his seat to argue that just because there’s choices for audio entertainment doesn’t mean they compete directly with satellite radio. While satellite aggregates the program niches that terrestrial radio can’t support in a local market, and sells them nationwide, he said forcefully, “These are complements, not substitutes” for terrestrial radio.

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Not Like Dish/DirecTV

Many camps, including NAB, have made reference to the failed Dish Network/DirecTV merger as evidence that the FCC would not approve a satellite radio deal.

Tiered Pricing Plans Described

Separately, Mel sought to clarify a new pricing scheme, a confusing part of past hearings. He said, “Today you pay $12.95” to get each service. If the companies merged, “We would create a lower price package.” He threw out a possible figure of $8.95 a month “or some lower price” and said the merged entity “would be willing to work with regulators” on that point.