At least not yet – that’s the word from Liberty Media Corporation CEO Greg Maffei, who sees his company’s $530M loan to the debt-challenged Sirius XM satellite radio operation as a good investment. But bundling the two “down the road” has not been ruled out. First and foremost will be leveraging cost savings by getting better deals with automobile companies, program suppliers and talent – made possible by lack of a satellite radio competitor. There would also be immediate cross-promotional benefits.
RBR/TVBR observation: A key argument against allowing XM and Sirius to merge, indeed to allow any sole suppliers of a good or service to merge, is giving the merged entity unfair market power. In this case, the losers will be programmers, artists, and eventually, consumers. Basically, Maffei knows a monopoly when he sees one and knows what to do with it. However, there are other problems with the Sirius XM business model, and this economy is not a good one for convincing people to part with a monthly fee when they can get traditional radio for free. The jury is still out on this.