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Senator questions Sirius-XM merger

In Brief / RADIO

April 18, 2007|From the Associated Press

A Senate committee chairman said Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. had "a steep hill to climb" in showing that its proposed purchase of XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. would not hurt competition in the audio entertainment market.

Sirius Chief Executive Mel Karmazin told the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee that a combined satellite radio provider would benefit consumers by letting them access both companies' services for a diminished price.

Karmazin received a cool response from Democratic senators, including committee Chairman Daniel K. Inouye of Hawaii. "Given the public interest in promoting competition and maximizing a diversity of media outlets, we should be skeptical of claims that new technologies necessarily 'change the equation' and provide competition sufficient to restrain monopoly power," Inouye said.

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