Conservative pundits take down XM/Sirius


J. Gregory Sidal and Hal J. Singer, writing in the conservative Washington Times, get right into the meat of the matter when discussing the proposed merger of DARS services XM and Sirius. "It is a knee-jerk reaction among conservative commentators to bless most mergers under the belief that these transactions reflect the salubrious workings of the market. But conservatives should also reject the idea of taking two unregulated competitors and creating in their place a brand-new regulated monopoly through the merger approval process." They note that some interest groups have blessed the merger, but in hopes of gaining something for themselves, rather than average consumers. For example, Public Knowledge says yes – in exchange for more NCE programming. Family Research Council says yes – in exchange for channel blocking. The duo notes the XM/Sirius claim that they compete with the entire spectrum of audio services, and that this competition assures they’ll price their merged entity competitively. "Of course, if they truly believed this argument, XM and Sirius would not need to offer to freeze their prices," they point out. They conclude the matter is a choice between a competitive market calling the shots or social planners. They say competitive market hands down.