Saturday, February 16, 2008

XM Spent $1.2 Million Lobbying for Merger

For those who do not know, I am a HUGE fan of my XM. Also, I am huge opponent of the proposed ‘merger’ between XM and Sirius satellite radio. My feeling is that the consumer would be screwed. No on can name me on merger that has benefited the consumers. This merger is only about the stockholders.

Also, I am convinced that Sirius head, Mel Karmizan, who would run the newly merged company, is a money whore that would destroy programming, sell ad time on ever channel and would nickel and dime the subscribers with his proposed a la carte plan.

One of the main arguments for the merger is that combining their assets they could collectively save money and become more cost efficient. So in order to show their abilities in this arena, XM spends money on lobbying... A LOT of money.

From AP
NEW YORK (AP) - XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. spent roughly $1.2 million in 2007 to lobby for approval of its proposed $5 billion acquisition by rival Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., among other issues.

The satellite radio operator spent $580,000 in the second half of 2007 to lobby Congress and the Department of Justice about the pending merger, according to a disclosure form posted online Tuesday by the Senate's public records office.

Glad to see my $12.95 a month is spent this way. Now of course this is not as bad as wasting $500 million for irrelevant on-air talent, but it sure does still stink.


Libertarian Jason said...


I've commented on this stuff before, and I find it to be a very interested case study on the economics of politics.

I have to disagree with your assessment of the economics here. Because of State regulation, satallite radio is severely hampered from competing with traditional broadcast radio. I Seriously doubt you'd have a degradation of programming, as consumers who go to satellite radio are looking for something different from what they can get "for free". I see what you may be concerned about (monopoly) but you need to widen your scope of what market you think XM competes in.

I am all in favor of XM and Sirius merging, as it will allow them to compete with their REAL mutual enemy - traditional broadcasters who have used the State to hamstring satellite radio from being offered to consumers for many, many years. (Did you know we could have had satellite radio available commerically 20 years ago...but the NAB lobbied to have it suppressed.)

Besides... Its not like anyone is FORCED to listen to satellite radio. Even a merged satellite radio company would have a huge incentive to keep providing the types of entertainment that its listeners want.


The Squeaky Wheel said...


You make valid points, but do you have XM or Sirius? If you did, especially XM, and you KNEW about Mel Karmizan, you might not agree with the merger... He is the Mr. Potter of Radio

Libertarian Jason said...

When I was still with my Ex, we had XM. I enjoyed it. These days I listen to internet radio and podcasts.

Mr. Potter... ahh... he sounds like a tough minded capitalist. Good for him!


The Squeaky Wheel said...

Why do I have the strangest feeling we did not listen to the same channels on XM :-)