Reaction piled on after the satellite announcement.
NAB’s Dennis Wharton called the decision astonishing.
“To hinge approval of this monopoly on XM and Sirius’s refusal to deliver on a promise of interoperable radios is nothing short of breathtaking.”
Sen. Byron Dorgan, D-N.D., said the decision was another example of the DOJ’s “blatant disregard for the public interest with regard to media ownership.” That the DOJ can disregard the FCC’s own rules licensing satellite radio that says there must be two separate companies providing the service “makes no sense,” he said.
A PR firm representing XM and Sirius issued a release that said “consumers, former FCC chairmen, members of Congress, public interest groups, diversity organizations, retail and auto companies, religious leaders and more have all voiced support” for the merger and urged the commission to also give its okay quickly.
We’ll see how fast that happens. Traditionally DOJ acts first in these cases as the chairman recently reminded reporters. He said late last week he’s asked FCC staff to draw up a number of possible scenarios.
My guess though is those who want to see conditions placed on the merger by the commission will be disappointed; the agency usually follows the DOJ’s reasoning.