Consumer Groups Fight XM/Sirius Merger

Consumer groups ripped into the Justice Department's March 24 clearance of the XM/Sirius merger, saying the department's antitrust review of the pending transaction was "based on a fundamentally flawed analysis of the satellite radio market."

And the groups told the Federal Communications Commission that it must not repeat the Justice Department's "error."

In a filing recently sent to the FCC, the Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Union and Free Press told the agency that under the standards it reviews mergers, "and the specific conditions in the licenses granted to XM and Sirius, makes it all the more evident that the proposed merger is not in the public interest."

The groups also said the DOJ's analysis of the pending satellite radio combination "does not seriously engage the extensive analysis nor rebut our findings and conclusions."

They added, "This is a merger to monopoly that would eliminate substantial competition in the satellite radio market and confer significant market power on the post merger monopolist, which explicitly violates their license terms. This creates an extremely high burden on the merging parties."