Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Meger For Consumers

February 20, 2007

There seems to be a group of people who are dead set against a merger, and feel that such a deal would be bad for consumers. While everyone is entitled to an opinion, there are many ways consumers can express their desires relative to a merged company.

There is no denying that merged satellite radio companies present a huge potential that can be very beneficial to consumers. Sirius and XM outlined several of the benefits that could be realized from a consumer perspective in their announcement.

Perhaps a better track than an outright opposition to the merger is to concentrate efforts on what it is you desire as a consumer, and letting that opinion be known to these companies as well as governmental agencies.

The problem with outlining opposition is that the outline is all theoretical. By point of fact, it is unknown whether or not the merger would be consumer friendly.

Is it not better to outline and phrase comments such as:

"I would see benefit in a merger if I were sure that the pricing structure would be fair to consumers"

"I would see benefit in a merger if there were free and dedicated channels for public safety"

" I would see benefit in a merger if i was assured that my current equipment would work, or that new equipment was made available in an affordable way (exchange old for new and get a service discount, etc.)"

"I did not like the exclusive deals with cars and feel that the consumer having a choice is better"

"I see benefit in a merger because bandwidth can be better utilized to not only improve sound quality, but also provide better and more effective additional services."

This form of communication is much more positive and influential than the negative connotation set forth by simply opposing the merger based on a theory that it is not good.

All to often people take an approach that does not help or hinder the process, but simply muddies the waters. Consumers should make a concerted effort to articulate their opinions in such a way that best describes their desires, while at the same time allowing the companies to move forward with their plans.

The fact of the matter is that a merged company has the potential to offer consumer benefits that two separate companies will never be able to offer, and isn't it better to try to maximize your benefits as a consumer?

Yes, there are people, and even organizations that oppose the merger. To those i would suggest a simple exercise that may give clarity to your approach. Make a list of potential benefits of a merged company. Make a second list with what you feel are the negatives of a merged company. Now compare the lists, and take a track that limits the negatives and pushes for the positives.

What we know as of today is that these companies are what they are. This is the service you get. Now look at what you could get with a merger and push for those things to happen.

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2/20/2007 09:53:00 PM

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