Thursday, February 14, 2008

More XM/Sirius DOJ Rumors

Seeking Alpha a stock opinion and analysis web site has yet another article speculating about when the DOJ will announce whether the XM/Sirius merger is a go or not. It seems every week the speculation meter starts to rise only to be back at zero by weeks end. What I found interesting about this article is that it chronicles all of the possible stipulations that Justice might impose on the merged company as a condition of approval.

As you read through the list see if you can identify which interested parties might have requested some of the stipulations. If I had a prize closet I would award a prize.

• offer a smaller package at a monthly price lower than the current basic package, with additional channels being offered on an à la carte basis, similar to what the companies agreed to do in the spring, with the final details to be negotiated;
• move all “indecent” programming from the basic package to à la carte offerings;
• freeze prices for some period of time;
• assure that the radios currently being used by subscribers continue to receive the satellite signals;
• provide some minimum amount of public interest programming;
• address exclusive deals for content or equipment in some way;
• make interoperable radios (that work on both XM and Sirius systems) commercially available by a date certain; and
• make the satellite radios interoperable with HD (High Definition) radio.

Any way, the gist of the article was to point out that the rumors of a decision
were starting to percolate again. We'll see.

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