Friday, March 30, 2007

Anti-Merger Conflicts Of Interest: Alabama House Resolution

It turns out that the author of the Alabama House resolution against the merger owns and operates terrestrial radio stations!

The following was sent to me by an SSG reader

Remember the Alabama House resolution that didn't like the SIRIUS/XM merger? Here is the author of the resolution: http://www.rephubbard.com/Biography.aspx Please note : "Hubbard's company, Auburn Network, Inc., owns and operates WANI NewsTalk 1400, a commercial radio station in the Auburn/Opelika market as well as Studio 197, an audio production company serving the national broadcast industry" His contact page: http://www.rephubbard.com/Contact.aspx

and excerpts:

"In 1990, Hubbard left Auburn University to head up Auburn’s radio and television sports network. In 1994, Hubbard formed his own company, Auburn Network, Inc., to handle Auburn’s multi-media rights and built the network into one of the nation’s most respected collegiate sports networks.
In 2003, Hubbard sold the multi-media sports division of his company to Winston-Salem, N.C.-based International Sports Properties and continues to serve as President of ISP’s Auburn project.
Hubbard’s company, Auburn Network, Inc., owns and operates WANI NewsTalk 1400, a commercial radio station in the Auburn/Opelika market as well as Studio 197, an audio production company serving the national broadcast industry, and East Alabama Living, a regional quarterly magazine. Auburn Network, Inc., is also a partner in Craftmaster Printers, Inc., a commercial printing company based in Auburn"....read more: here

3/30/2007 08:25:00 PM

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  • i have not been able to confirm if the FCC has determined this. but if they have, Monday is going to be really bad for xm and siri. we could see siri below 3

    Daily News & Headlines
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    FCC: Sirius, XM Do Not Compete with Terrestrial Radio

    A recent FCC analysis of satellite competition determined that the relevant market for satellite radio consists solely of Sirius and XM. The agency relied on antitrust law and the Department of Justice merger guidelines in finding that other audio services such as terrestrial radio (including HD Radio), iPods, and Internet radio are not competitive substitutes.

    Sirius and XM have tried to justify their proposed merger based on competition from iPods, HD Radio and other forms of audio entertainment. "The reality is that satellite radio competes with an awful lot of audio services -- terrestrial radio, Internet radio, with cell phones when hooked up to Bluetooth, and we compete with MP3 players," said Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin testifying before the Senate Judiciary's Subcommittee on Antitrust Competition last week.

    "This FCC decision that the current duopoly of XM and Sirius do not compete with radio, iPods or any other audio sources in the satellite radio market further undermines the arguments made by XM and Sirius to obtain a government-sanctioned monopoly," said NAB President/CEO David K. Rehr. "While the FCC clearly intends to examine all issues surrounding the XM/Sirius merger, the hurdle the parties must overcome to convince the FCC to change direction is very high."

    Rehr added, "This is a dramatic blow to XM/Sirius' presumption of a broader market, and still more evidence that XM and Sirius compete ferociously against each other in the market for nationwide multichannel mobile audio services, and no one else." (03-30-07)

    See what's free at AOL.com.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 30, 2007 10:06 PM  

  • Gee..big surprise.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 30, 2007 10:14 PM  

  • Rehr is splitting hairs again....

    The FCC did NOT "make a decision" that the market place should exclude iPods, HD Radio and other forms -- they only said that they had excluded them from the current study. They even went so far as to say that, the analysis "may not reflect the appropriate markets to be considered" in a merger review, the Commission said.

    This statement and satellite review was part of the FCC's "First Annual Report to Congress on the state of competition in the communications satellite services industry"... and it was planned long before they announced the merger. It covers the time period between 2000-2006. It was released on March 22nd... less than a month after the announcement of the merger. There was no way that the FCC would have been able to study more or make ANY such major decision on the marketplace for satellite radio in that kind of time frame.

    Rehr is doing his usual to stretch the truth and show the desperation of the NAB with this matter.

    P.S. - Your headline on this blog post has a typo with "anti". I'm not being anal... it just jumped out at me, sorry.

    By Anonymous homer985, at March 31, 2007 9:40 AM  

  • homer....

    Thank you for the comments. Rehr is walking down a slippery slope, and if he is not careful he will lose more points than he gains. Thanks for pointing out the typo. I typically do not edit the articles published by SSG contributors as I feel that varried opinions carry value, but a typo is different. Consider it corrected. Perhaps you would consider writing a piece for SSG. Drop me an email.

    By Blogger SSG, at March 31, 2007 2:31 PM  

  • The time has come for a Sirius-XM merger. It will give consumers more choices, overall. I'm a bit tired of all the speculation, and wish the FCC would approve it already, with some sort of price controls for a period of time, to protect the consumer.

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at March 31, 2007 9:54 PM  

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