Georgetown Partners Takes Sirius/XM to Task in FCC Filing
By Jon Hemingway -- Broadcasting & Cable, 11/20/2007 3:53:00 PM
Minority-owned private-equity firm Georgetown Partners said Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio misrepresented support for the companies' proposed merger.
In a letter to the Federal Communications Commission, Georgetown contended that the companies made “misrepresentations of the current record of support for and opposition to their proposed merger.” Georgetown also pointed out that there are no third-party entities on record with the FCC that are opposed to its proposal to alter the terms of the merger.
Georgetown called for the combined company to lease its broadcast infrastructure and 20% of its channel capacity to a minority-controlled entity, claiming that this would alleviate anti-competitive effects of the merger and ensure diversity of programming.
Sirius and XM addressed the proposal in an FCC filing, which prompted Georgetown’s response Tuesday.
Alleging that Georgetown was trying to “manipulate the regulatory process for private gain,” Sirius and XM said last week that the leasing proposal would undermine the benefits of the merger and actually restrict programming for consumers. The companies also said the deal had support with organizations representing underserved markets, particularly singling out the endorsement by the NAACP.
Georgetown took exception to that, given that the NAACP offered its support in June, months before the leasing proposal was made. Georgetown’s letter also cited support for its proposal from the Black Leadership Forum, a 35-member organization that includes the NAACP, as well as six Congressional Black Caucus members.
The Sirius-XM merger has approval from stockholders of both companies, but it remains subject to FCC and Justice Department approval.
The FCC is now enlisting the help of Jessee Jackson's extortion machine to create delaying tactics? What next? I am voting against anyone in my district that is even remotely involved in this ridiculous display of incompetence. On my ticket and you took $ from the NAB or Georgetown Partners to not do anything about these delays? Not getting my vote! I don't care if you are running against a dead guy. The dead guy could have passed this thing quicker.
scott - 4/17/2008 6:41:00 AM EDT
Terrestial radio is inferior and they fear the strength of profitable sat radio competition.
In the interest of full disclosure, I wonder if Georgetown Partners has a short equity position on SIRI or XMSR by which they will profit if the merger is denied.
John H. - 2/2/2008 12:54:00 AM EST
Oh please. This is meaningless. And who cares if they are minority owned. That is completely useless information. Anyone want to bet that if you take two seconds to look at this firm, they will have ties to the NAB or some organizations that will profit handsomely by the radio industry continuing its stranglehold on broadcasting.
This is nothing more than the NAB continuing its BS games because it knows it has a terrible product whose time is up.
john harper - 1/31/2008 3:11:00 PM EST
Well, I guess if the NAB is accused of stuffing the FCC mail servers full of anti-merger spam someone had to accuse Sirius and XM of similar tricks. Blah Blah Blah
Richard - 11/26/2007 1:57:00 PM EST
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