Analyst fail to see Whole Food-XM/Sirius parallel


When the Federal Trade Commission moved to prevent a merger between top organic food retailers Whole Foods and Wild Oats, many saw it as bad news for the XM/Sirius merger. Now that FTC’s block has been countered in court, some think it’s a good sign for XM/Sirius. Not so, says BloggingStocks. It thinks the FTC may have been on thin ice in blocking the food merger since organic items are available at many other food outlets. But Douglas A. McIntyre, a partner at 24/7 Wall St. writing for the blog, said a comparison to XM/Sirius is "…full of holes." He noted that they are already a de facto duopoly, "and merged, would be a monopoly. Their ability to send satellite signals with radio content to receivers is not a business that any other company can enter. That is not really a bit like the Whole Foods situation." He further noted that unlike Whole Foods, XM/Sirius faces serious opposition on Capitol Hill from legislators who wonder why they should condone the merger when it may simply lead to raised rates over time. He concluded that while Whole Foods/Wild Oats may take heart for the court ruling (which the FTC has already appealed), XM/Sirius probably should not.