Pioneer Targets iBiquity Ideas on Sat Radio Merger

Electronics giant Pioneer approached Federal Communications Commission staff about the pending merger between XM and Sirius and potential conditions on the deal proposed by iBiquity that would require a combined entity to offer receivers with both satellite radio and HD Radio capabilities.

In a filing detailing its meetings at the FCC, Pioneer did not take a position on the proposed merger. However, the company said it was opposed to iBiquity's suggestion that satellite radio receivers also contain HD Radio reception capabilities.

Pioneer said the iBiquity proposal "would limit the breadth of radio product offerings to consumers, limit which radio component suppliers' products be designed into radios, have the effect of decreasing AM/FM tuning performance, unnecessarily increase costs to consumers uninterested in HD Radio and interfere with the useful and healthy free market mechanisms extant in radio electronics purchases."

Pioneer said the marketplace should compel any move involving HD Radio.

"Free terrestrial analog and terrestrial digital radio services should be allowed to compete with paid satellite digital radio services on an even playing field. Consumers should be allowed to choose radios which meet their needs, without undue government influence," the company said.