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First Mediaworks


Kerry Tells FCC: Don't 'Rubber Stamp' DOJ Decision On XM-Sirius

WASHINGTON -- April 3, 2008: In a letter to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Sen. John Kerry (D-MA) notes that, although the Department of Justice has unconditionally approved the merger of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio, "serious concerns remain as to how this merger will impact consumers if it is permiited to go forward."

Kerry points to the 1997 order that established satellite radio service, which blocks one satellite licensee from acquiring the other in order to "assure sufficient continuing competition" in satellite radio. Kerry writes, "To the extent that this merger would permit the only two entities authorized to provide satellite radio service in the United States to merge, it would seem to directly contradict the intent of the commission in establishing this service."

Though Kerry acknowledges that the financial incentives for XM and Sirius to merger are "indisputable," he says, "It does not follow, however, that it would be in the public interest for these two competing entities to merge."

Kerry urges Martin "to resist rubber stamping the Justice Department's determination that sufficient competition exists." He continues, "Should the FCC determine that this merger does indeed serve the public interest, I urge you to consider appropriate conditions that will effectively protect the American consumer from what could prove to be an entity with strong monopoly power within the digital audio radio market."

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