State Broadcast Association Registers Opposition To XM/Sirius

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The 250 members of the North Carolina Association of Broadcasters wrote FCC Chairman Kevin Martin to express  strong opposition to the XM/Sirius merger.

XM and Sirius maintain that the national audio marketplace has numerous players--including terrestrial radio, the Internet, cable radio, and iPods--and that the merger would produce a stronger competitor in that market providing more flexible and diverse services.

The broadcasters disagree and advise the commission that even with regulatory conditions, the merger would not be "advisable or appropriate."

The FCC has asked for comment on whether it should amend its earlier finding that allowing one company to own both national satellite radio licenses would not be in the public interest.

In a June 25 letter, the group--which represents radio and TV stations-- said that the proposed merger of the satellite radio companies would create a monopoly that would diminish service and lead to anti-competitive practices. They also argue that allowing that merger would open the door to an attempted merger by the two satellite TV companies, EchoStar and DirecTV, which they say would be "inimical to the public interest."

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