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Atty’s General Speak Out Against Sirius/XM Merger

Washington — Attorneys General from over a dozen states asked for curbs on the proposed Sirius XM merger, if not its rejection, in a meeting with Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).

Even as the FCC is expected to close its deliberation on the merger this month, two attorneys general, Robert Cooper of Tennessee and Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut, along with staff members from attorneys general offices of 14 states — Connecticut, Iowa, Kansas, Louisiana, Maryland, Mississippi, Missouri, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Washington and Wisconsin — held a teleconference with FCC Commissioner Tate to ask for stipulations on the proposed merger, with some supporting its outright rejection.

At least one analyst Commissioner’s Tate vote as critical for merger approval because of the particular republican/democrat split of the five Commissioner body in whose hands, the merger rests.

The attorneys general asked Tate to require that Sirius and XM lease at least 20 percent of their spectrum to a third party to foster competition in satellite radio programming. They further asked that interoperable radios that allow access to either XM or Sirius services, become commercially available quickly and that the intellectual property to produce satellite radios be made available to any supplier.

Sirius and XM have already promised the FCC that interoperable radios would be available in a year and that the merged company would allow open sourced radios.