Consumer Groups Keep Pressure on Sat Radio Merger

As Sirius and XM kept to their waiting game concerning regulatory approval for their pending merger, the same entities that have been fighting the deal since it was first announced surfaced again at the Portals this week targeting the proposed $13 billion transaction.

In a filing sent to the Federal Communications Commission, advocacy groups the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and Free Press continued to pressure the agency about the proposed XM/Sirius combination, calling the deal a monopoly "that will unleash the market power of the satellite digital radio service providers at the expense of the public."

They said an offer from the companies to deliver a la carte programming choices to consumers "cannot compensate consumers for the loss of competition." The groups also said that "nothing in the regulatory proposal will protect artists or retailers from the exercise of market power."

They added in their FCC filing, "The merger will enhance the profit of the satellite radio company at the expense of the public."

XM and Sirius first announced intentions to combine operations in February last year. In addition to winning an OK from the FCC, the deal is before antitrust staff.