Retailers back merger, watchdog yawns


RadioShack, Circuit City and Crutchfield have come out in favor of the proposed merger of satellite radio competitors XM and Sirius. The DARS duo touts this as clear evidence that the merger would be good for consumers, earning a rousing "Huh?" from an interested watchdog group.

Julian C. Day of RadioShack said, "…the merger will bring greater vitality and financial resources tom this upstart technology. Allowing this to happen will, in turn, spark a new generation of services and products with more advanced and user-friendly features."

Bob Williams of the consumer group Hear Us Now countered, "It’s probably fair to say that RadioShack and Circuit City are not the first names that leap to mind when it comes to gauging consumer benefits."  He pointed out that monopolies are generally not good for consumers. "As for XM and Sirius, we would like to offer a little bit of advice should they be interested in finding out what consumers really think about their proposed merger: Ask some actual consumers rather than their corporate cronies."

RBR/TVBR observation: Instead of two companies working hard to outdo one another both in quality and pricing, we are supposed to believe consumers will benefit from one company which can now focus more on maximizing its own bottom line without any of that pesky competition to worry about. This is from the Econ 101 textbook. It’s amazing that this proposal has any traction at all.