WideOrbit Opposes Wicks/Marketron Merger - Radio World

WideOrbit Opposes Wicks/Marketron Merger

Monopolies are not good for customers.
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Monopolies are not good for customers.

It could be another round of comment in the satellite merger — but this time the remark comes from a supplier of traffic, sales and billing software.

WideOrbit says the industry should prevent the merger of Wicks Broadcast Solutions and Marketron Broadcast Solutions. "If allowed to merge, Marketron Broadcast Solutions would then control approximately 86% of the commercial radio traffic, sales and billing software business in the U.S.," WideOrbit stated.

"When a single company has overwhelming market share, customers do not benefit. And without the benefit of competition, what would stop the proposed Marketron Broadcast Solutions from continually raising prices?" The merger, WideOrbit said, would give Marketron control of 86% of "backbone systems supporting radio broadcasters."

It said the "negative impact of this merger is already being felt ... In the months surrounding the announced merger, Wicks Marketron has announced internal layoffs of more than 20 people." The company also set up a Web site, StopWicksMarketronMerger.org, and encouraged visitors to complain to the Justice Department.

Eric Mathewson is founder and CEO of WideOrbit, based in San Francisco.

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