XM, Sirius Take on Anti-Merger Group

XM and Sirius took on a group that has been fighting their proposed merger, complaining in a filing sent to the Federal Communications Commission last week that the organization working to stop the combination of satellite radio companies is another front for the broadcast lobby.

The Consumer Coalition for Competition in Satellite Radio recently asked the FCC to conduct hearings into the merger and investigate both XM and Sirius and their plans to combine operations. The group has argued that the merger is bad for consumers and claimed the companies have lacked candor in the merger review process.

In their letter, XM and Sirius said the coalition is "yet another salvo in the National Association of Broadcasters' long campaign to prevent the merger .. and forestall the creation of a stronger competitor for terrestrial radio." The NAB, a staunch opponent of the merger, has provided funding to the coalition, which is made up of a handful of law students.

Among its claims, the coalition has argued that XM and Sirius have stalled efforts to provide a radio that's capable of receiving both services. The companies took issue with the suggestion, saying in their FCC letter that documents filed at the commission demonstrate "the substantial efforts Sirius and XM made not only to design an interoperable radio but also to analyze the possible production and commercial introduction of interoperable radios."

In their letter, the satellite radio entities asked the FCC to dismiss the coalition's letter as well as approve the pending merger.