Ex-FCC Chairman Fowler Backs XM-Sirius Merger

Says Government Should Not Block Satellite-Radio Combination

Former Federal Communications Commission chairman Mark Fowler -- who, in the mid-1980s, helped to deregulate the broadcast industry and spur a raft of media mergers and acquisitions -- came out in support of another such merger, the meld of satellite-radio companies XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio.

In an op-ed in The New York Sun being bicycled to reporters by merger supporters, Fowler said,  "If the two satellite-radio companies, each only several years old, need to combine to be more effective competitors in an audio-entertainment marketplace teeming with technological change and innovation, the government should not stand in the way."

Fowler pointed to broadcasters' opposition to the creation of direct-broadcast satellite TV, suggesting that their XM-Sirius opposition was another example of lobbyists' "latest battlefront against competition and its offshoot -- mergers that enhance competition."

Fowler recently joined Frontline Wireless, a company looking to create a new national wireless network to compete with incumbent providers.