Coalition Asks for Sat Radio Merger Review

Saying it has highly-confidential documents that suggest the pending merger between Sirius and XM could be "very negative" for consumers, the Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio asked the Federal Communications Commission to hold a hearing and commence an investigation into the proposed deal.

The group on Tuesday presented a letter to the FCC detailing its findings and concerns. Large portions of the letter are blacked out, due to the protective order the FCC has placed on sensitive documents tied to the transaction. But text in the coalition's letter suggests that the group's worries focus on interoperable radio requirements contained in the original satellite radio licenses granted to XM and Sirius.

The coalition said it's concerned that "full and fair marketplace competition, as originally intended by the companies, has never occurred because of the conduct of Sirius and XM."

In addition, the group said confidential documents tied to the pending merger raise concerns as to whether XM and Sirius "have lacked candor in both their individual and joint representations to the commission in the merger application." And the coalition asked if the proposed merger "is contrary to the public interest because it furthers an illegal conspiracy to restrain trade."

The companies declined to comment on the letter.

The FCC is the final regulatory hurdle for the companies to complete their merger. The deal won clearance from the Justice Department's antitrust unit in March.