iBiquity Keeps Targeting Sat Radio Merger

iBiquity, the main proponent of HD Radio technology being utilized by traditional radio stations, has stepped up its targeting of the proposed XM/Sirius merger, saying the deal - if approved by regulators - could have "competitive implications" for its business.

iBiquity met with Federal Communications Commission staff last week about the merger. In a filing detailing its discussions at the agency, iBiquity said a combined XM/Sirius could be in a better position to hamper its ability to introduce HD Radio technology into the marketplace.

Specifically, the company said it has concerns about exclusive arrangements between the satellite radio services and their automobile manufacturer partners "that could serve as a barrier to iBiquity's ability to sell HD Radio receivers to end users." And a merged entity may have a stronger economic position and more cash to fund subsidies and incentives to partners to keep out competitors, iBiquity said in its filing.

"As the sole provider of satellite services, the merged entity will have greater leverage over retailers, car manufacturers and suppliers. This combined satellite monopoly would be in a better position to act anti-competitively to exclude HD Radio products," the company said in its filing.

XM and Sirius are waiting for a decision on their combination from the FCC. The deal also is before antitrust staff at the Justice Department.