Mel Karmazin, Sirius's head honcho, wants that merger baaaad. He took to Capitol Hill this week to try to give the merger-to-be a running start toward clearing the significant regulatory hurdles (and doubts) it's likely to face in the coming months. Talking to the antitrust taskforce on the House Judiciary Committee, he revealed that they're "prepared to make concessions, and we're willing to work with the FCC on doing it."
What kind of concessions? How about the one everybody wants to hear: price controls. Yep. He added that they'll "leave it to the regulators" to enforce promises they're making about "more programming and better services at lower prices." Whether or not you trust the regulators is another story though, I suppose.
Also combatting suggestions that the new company would be a monopoly, Karmazin repeatedly emphasized that within the context of the broader market—traditional radio, internet radio and mp3 players—they are not.
There is, I feel, some weight to his argument, as much like it sounds like hot air. I have an iPod—I don't think about satellite radio, though I might if I didn't. There's enough competitive pressure coming in from all sides, it seems, to drive them to keep things balanced, lest subscribers flock elsewhere. Whether or not Congress and the FCC buys that argument remains to be seen.