Some Support (With Conditions) for Sat Radio Merger

Advocacy group Public Knowledge continued to offer support for the proposed merger between XM and Sirius, though the organization told the Federal Communications Commission this week that the agency should tie conditions to the deal.

In a filing detailing its meetings with FCC staff earlier this week, Public Knowledge said a combined satellite radio company should be required to offer pricing options such as a la carte or tiered programming to customers. Also, a merged entity should make 5 percent of channel capacity available to non-commercial educational and informational programmers, the group said.

Also, a merged XM/Sirius should agree not to raise prices for its combined programming package for three years after the merger wins approval, Public Knowledge said.

And the group suggested a new satellite radio company should make the technical specifications of its devices and network open and available to device manufacturers that want to develop any device they choose without interference.

While Public Knowledge lobbied for those four conditions, it told FCC staff that the agency should not stop a combined satellite radio company from providing local programming.