That’s what FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said on CNBC, explaining why the FCC has taken some time to consider the proposed merger between the two satellite audio services. Before even considering the implications of the merger, the FCC needs to get past the prohibition of a merger written into the companies’ licenses.
On CNBC’s "Squawk on the Street," Martin told host Mark Haines, “That merger has been in front of us for awhile. It’s a difficult issue for the commission. We had a rule in place that would say he two companies couldn’t merge when we auctioned off that spectrum. They have come in and asked for us to change that rule and put forth … several public interest commitments that they would be willing to make capping their prices for a certain period of time and offering consumers to pick and choose channels they would want to help lower their prices. We’re looking at that. I think the commission will do something on it soon.”
Pressed on the FCC “obligation” to end the extended wait the companies have had to endure, Martin amplified, “I think we are under an obligation but this is an unusual circumstance. We have a rule that actually prohibits this merger. This was unlike any other merger that’s come in front of us. We have a rule that would prohibit it from going forward. I think that they’re asking for something extraordinary and the commission is taking a look at it. We’ll get back to them soon.”
RBR/TVBR observation: They’re going to cap prices “for a certain period of time?” Then what happens – duhhhhhhh. This is a no-brainer. The merger was prohibited at birth. Both companies say they don’t need it to survive. It creates a monopoly. What more do you need? The answer is “NO!!!!”