Completely unexpected: More restrictions could jeopardize XM-Sirius merger


Oh for the love of God, now what?

Surely by now you’ve heard about the long-delayed (to put it mildly) XM-Sirius merger, which is really more of a Sirius buyout of XM, but let’s not nuance ourselves to death. So yeah, now it looks like the merger won’t be allowed to take place unless the combined company agrees to set aside 25 percent of its bandwidth for minority and non-commercial broadcasts. If you’re a satellite radio fan like me, it’s easy to get annoyed at that, but life’s too short to freak out over the demands of our Precious Regulators.

The 25 percent threshold was put forward by Jonathan Adelstein, a commissioner at the FCC, the same FCC whose boss already gave the merger the go-ahead some time ago. While that request sounds a little silly&mdsh;why should the companies be told what to broadcast?—as a consumer I do like his idea of preventing price increases for the next six years. (I said as a consumer: I know that price restrictions hurt the company’s ability to do business, but if I can save a few dollars, why not?)

You do know that this merger will never happen, right?