Found this on the XMSR message board. No link provided but just was released:
"But the proposed additional concessions aren't likely to prevail, according to people familiar with the deal."
Jul 2, 2008 15:52:45 (ET)
WASHINGTON (Dow Jones)--There's a move in Congress to force XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (XMSR) and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (SIRI) to further expand public and minority channels as a condition of their merger. But the proposed additional concessions aren't likely to prevail, according to people familiar with the deal.
Two letters sent last Friday from members of Congress to the Federal Communications Commission asked that the merged entity set aside 20% to 25% of its airwaves for public and minority programming. FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has recommended an 8% set-aside.
"With the commitments the two companies have offered, on balance, this transaction seems to be a fair way to compromise," said FCC Spokesman Robert Kenny, responding to the letters.
In addition to the 24 channels that would be devoted to minority and nonprofit programming, XM and Sirius also have pledged to cap subscriber prices for three years if the merger is approved.
Martin's recommendation to approve the merger now is being considered by the other four FCC commissioners. The parties are hoping the two Republican commissioners will soon sign off, which, with Martin's support, would effectively seal the deal.
People close to the talks say Martin's recommended conditions have been carefully negotiated, hinting that there may not be much more wiggle room on the terms.
Republican commissioners Deborah Taylor Tate and Robert McDowell are asking questions about the proposal, FCC officials say. Democrat Michael Copps is probably the least likely to sign off on the merger, having publicly stated his concerns in recent weeks. Jonathan Adelstein, the other Democratic commissioner, hasn't announced a position.
Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., penned the stronger of the two most recent congressional letters, saying a 20% spectrum set-aside is on the low end of what they would recommend. "The commission should require the merged entity to lease as much as 50% of its satellite system capacity," their letter said.
House Minnesota Democrats, in a separate letter to the FCC, recommended that 25% of the satellite spectrum be reserved for noncommercial and minority channels.
Both letters also say satellite radios should be integrated with HD radio capability.
Lawmakers can't stand in the way of the merger if the FCC approves it, but they hope to influence the deliberations within the commission.
Sens. Kerry and McCaskill both sit on the Senate Commerce Committee, which has jurisdiction over the FCC. McCaskill, with Sen. Olympia Snowe, R-Maine, earlier called on the merged entity to divest up to half its airwaves.
House Energy and Commerce Chairman John Dingell, D-Mich., and Telecommunications Subcommittee Chairman Edward Markey, D-Mass., also have asked for conditions on the merger, but they have not addressed spectrum set-asides
The Minnesota Democrats, led by Rep. Betty McCollum, primarily are concerned about maintaining healthy public radio coverage, according to several staffers. Minnesota Public Radio is a leader among public radio broadcasters.
A requirement that the merged entity's satellite radios not interfere with HD radio signals would go a long way toward resolving the Minnesota Democrats' concerns, several staffers indicated.
Incorporating HD radio technology into satellite radio "would encourage competition in the digital terrestrial market and would leverage the millions of federal dollars already invested in noncommercial stations to HD radio," the McCollum letter said.
Sens. John Kerry, D-Mass., Claire McCaskill, D-Mo., and Ben Cardin, D-Md., penned the stronger of the two most recent congressional letters, saying a 20% spectrum set-aside is on the low end of what they would recommend. "The commission should require the merged entity to lease as much as 50% of its satellite system capacity," their letter said. ------------------------------------------------------------------------------- In other words, merge and then hand over half of the new company.......
Thank God we didn't elect that Imbecile / A$$hole.
Maybe his rich wife should hand over half of her Heinz Company to minorities. HUH?
Crips sake, why don't we just give it all to the asholes. Then we can all move on here. Bunch of crap guys. I'm out of here for the weekend. Have a great fourth, looks like their not going to get it done.
Sounds to me like some of these senators are trying to show that they are working for their lobbyist dollars that they likely have received. Where were they six months ago? ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ Great question. (It's all choreographed by the NAB.) A better question would be where the phuck were they a year and a half ago?