When the government blackmails – the XM/Sirius merger and the FCC.

Blackmail is a crime, at least when normal people do it.  But in Washington, DC, it’s not only not a crime, it’s a celebrated tactic used to obtain concessions from people with business before you.

Were this the real world Commissioner Adelstein would be brought up on charges for withholding his official support for something based upon what he can get for it.  As it stands, he’s willing to vote in favor of the merger of XM and Sirius IF he gets to be program director for one quarter of their airwaves.  The insanity and arrogance of this maneuver can not be overstated.

Since the satellite industry does not fall under FCC regulations (they aren’t the “public” airwaves like AM and FM), what the FCC has to do with this merger is unclear and is certainly only based in tradition not law.  XM and Sirius should move forward as if there is nothing standing in their way, now that the jurisdictional body (the Justice Department) ruled in their favor.

In the meantime, Adelstein should be investigated for his blackmail attempts and removed from office.


1 Response to “When the government blackmails – the XM/Sirius merger and the FCC.”

  1. August 9, 2008 at 8:54 pm

    Just a few notes…

    Satellite radio uses terrestrial transmitters to rebroadcast what is in the satellite footprint for wider and more uniform coverage. That is one reason the FCC has oversight.

    The other is that the FCC actually created the duopoly system with its proceedings leading to the development of both satellite firms and the FCC was in charge of the proceedings dealing with the delegation of bandwidth involved too.

    It seems the Republican majority on the commission approved the satellite radio monopoly anyway, so the merger is here.

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