×

Welcome to the Slashdot Beta site -- learn more here. Use the link in the footer or click here to return to the Classic version of Slashdot.

Thank you!

Before you choose to head back to the Classic look of the site, we'd appreciate it if you share your thoughts on the Beta; your feedback is what drives our ongoing development.

Beta is different and we value you taking the time to try it out. Please take a look at the changes we've made in Beta and  learn more about it. Thanks for reading, and for making the site better!

FCC Nixes Satellite Radio Merger

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the Howard-meet-Oprah dept.

United States 277

a_nonamiss writes "Doesn't look like Sirius and XM are going to merge any time soon. I'm not sure how I feel about this one. Logically, I know that competition is a good thing for consumers, and monopolies are generally only good for companies. Still, I don't like having to choose a car based on which satellite radio service comes pre-installed, or considering whether I'd rather have Howard Stern or Oprah, because there is no practical way to get both. Frankly, it's probably all this exclusivity that has caused me not to purchase either system." From the article: "Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin Martin told reporters after an FCC meeting that the Commission would not approve a merger between satellite radio rivals Sirius and XM Radio... When the FCC initially licensed the two satellite radio companies in 1997, there was language in the licensing barring one from acquiring control of the other... Even if the FCC were to have a change of heart..., it would still have to pass antitrust scrutiny by the Department of Justice."

cancel ×
This is a preview of your comment

No Comment Title Entered

Anonymous Coward 1 minute ago

No Comment Entered

277 comments

Go with logic (3, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716848)

Go with what your brain knows to be true, not what your heart desires for the short-term.

I don't like having to choose a car based on which satellite radio service comes pre-installed

So don't. Either choose your radio service based on what is installed in the car, or have a satellite radio system for whichever system you want installed by a third-party store. Problem solved!

Frankly, it's probably all this exclusivity that has caused me not to purchase either system.

Actually, there's really not a lot of exclusivity between the two services. They both have rock stations, rap stations, country stations, etc. I didn't even know that Oprah had a show on XM, and I only know that Stern has a show on Sirius because of all of the hoopla around him leaving the broadcast airwaves. I think that the NFL prefers one service over another, and past that, I really don't know of anything else except maybe some talk personalities that I've probably never heard of.

So as long as the services are separate, you'll have to live without either Oprah or Stern (neither of which, in my humble opinion, is much of a sacrifice). But each service also has to be price-competitive and service-competitive to keep you from switching. They have to periodically roll out new features and improve the quality of existing features to keep up with the other. And they have to pay Joe Talkshow a decent salary to keep him from going to the other. Those things, again in my humble opinion, are preferable to having Oprah and Stern on just one service.

That antitrust scrutiny is there for a reason, and in this case, it's very well justified.

Re:Go with logic (1)

cac619 (714563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716960)

I think NPR only broadcasts on one of the two services. Not sure which one though.

Yech! (3, Funny)

MoxFulder (159829) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717010)

... or considering whether I'd rather have Howard Stern or Oprah, because there is no practical way to get both. Frankly, it's probably all this exclusivity that has caused me not to purchase either system."

Frankly, it's the idea of giving any of my money to either Howard Stern or Oprah that has held me back from getting satellite radio service.

Re:Go with logic (2, Interesting)

alshithead (981606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717052)

"Actually, there's really not a lot of exclusivity between the two services."

Respectfully, I think the statement above argues for the merger, not against. Also, I think the FCC really blew it when they initially allowed this service and mandated that no mergers would be allowed from the get go. With only two services going in as startups on a brand new technology being released to the public, you are almost guaranteeing that one will fail eventually. It might be a different story if there had been a couple more besides XM and Sirius from the starting gate.

Re:Go with logic (and this decision shows none) (5, Insightful)

fair_n_hite_451 (712393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717060)

Regardless of what the FCC pronounces from on high, there will be only one satellite radio provider within a couple of years. Market forces currently dictate that both companies cannot continue to bleed money at the rate they are doing and have any hope of long-term survival.
 
In fact, the tin foil hatter in me would probably suggest that big radio conglomerates like ClearChannel are actively lobbying behind the scenes to make sure that Sirius and XM can never join forces - in the hopes that they successfully kill them both, to allow re-entry into the market by those that missed the boat the first time.
 
Personally, I love my XM, and don't ever listen to local radio any more. More choice, less commercials, NHL radio broadcasts from several different markets every night? Why would I ever go back. Commercial radio listening is dropping like so many "buggy whip manufacturers 3 year outlook" and they know damned well that Satellite is taking a big chunk. (Not all, as others have already suggested, iPods and mp3 players are also changing how people listen to music).
 
One or the other is going to go belly up, and then what is the FCC going to say? "No, you're not allowed to woo former customers, because that would create a monopoly?"
 
How stupid is that?

I got your logic, hanging right here... (5, Insightful)

PopeRatzo (965947) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717562)

Let's not bullshit each other. When XM and Sirius start kicking political contributions at the level of your ClearChannels and your CBS, or just do the "All GOP, All the Time" approach of the Salem Radio Network, then you'll see that maybe the FCC isn't quite so firm about this unwillingness to allow a merger.

We just saw a decade of media consolidation at a level unseen outside of the Kremlin, and all of a sudden, the FCC is gonna start watching out for the consumer? Please.

The FCC has abrogated its responsibility to Americans a long time ago. Their "protection" of the citizens' ownership of the broadcast spectrum disappeared faster than an envelope full of hundreds down Duke Cunningham's (R, CA) jacket pocket. Maybe, just maybe, if a couple of the paleo-liberals like my boy Dennis Kucinich (crazy as he is) put the fear of god back into the hearts of the cake-eaters who currently own the media with his earnest (if improbable, and unworkable) threat of a return to "Fairness" (Fairness! Perish the thought!!) then we might see a few cracks in the walls of the Great Fortress of Trickle-Down Truthiness known as the Media. And maybe, when that happens, we might again see a little daylight between what the consumers of information in this country want and what our government will allow us to have.

Of course, I always hold out the hope that some leaders will emerge that have a few shreds of decency, and that they might get elected, but then again, I'm high.

Re:Go with logic (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717136)

That antitrust scrutiny is there for a reason, and in this case, it's very well justified.

You make some very good points and I lean toward agreeing with you, but at the same time, I'm not quite certain.

For instance, why is AM/FM radio not considered a legitimate competitor to satellite? Considered as a single "radio" market, neither XM nor Sirrius have significant marketshare, nor would they after a merger (well, I assume, I have no numbers, but I also have only one aquaintence with satellite radio). Sure it's good to have competition between satellite services, but for anyone considering purchasing either they would surely consider staying with traditional radio. Even if there was only one satellite service, it would have to make a compelling case vs cheap AM/FM radios with free service.

Re:Go with logic (2, Informative)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717480)

For instance, why is AM/FM radio not considered a legitimate competitor to satellite?

There are places where neither really works, but satellite is fine. Almost the only places where the reverse is true are underground or outside the aim of the satellite's antenna[e?].

Re:Go with logic (1)

Babbster (107076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717534)

The reason that standard AM/FM can't be considered by the anti-trust folks as competition for a Sirius/XM "super service" is that, though there are a couple of big companies on top of the broadcast radio heap, it's still possible for other companies to get frequencies and start broadcasting. So, while Clear Channel owns several stations in a particular market, they don't (and can't, legally) own all of them. The way the satellite companies are currently set up, they each control all of the channels on their respective services. Maybe if Sirius and XM put up channels for open bidding (with not more than one channel able to be bought by a single company, I would hope), then the anti-trust issue could potentially go away.

Personally, I love Sirius, mainly for the Howard Stern show which is the funniest radio I've ever heard - edging out Phil Hendrie thanks to being uncensored and with "limited" commercial interruption. I was never a Stern listener before Sirius, but I've heard a few of the old shows in a "best of" context and the oldies don't begin to compare with the current incarnation. It's not for kids, but it's not just for dirty old men, either...though that group would probably find satisfaction. :)

Re:Go with logic (4, Funny)

nizo (81281) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717196)

Yeah but what if instead of looking at reliability, gas mileage, or overall customer satisfaction I would prefer to make my next $30,000+ auto purchase based on which satellite radio comes with the car?

Re:Go with logic (2, Insightful)

nwbvt (768631) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717242)

"I think that the NFL prefers one service over another, and past that, I really don't know of anything else except maybe some talk personalities that I've probably never heard of."

Its not that the NFL 'prefers' one over the other, its that the NFL is only on one (Sirius), while other sports (baseball, hockey, college sports) are only on the other (XM). Thats where people get upset over having to choose between one or the other, if you are a big sports fan you have to choose between listening to football or baseball on your XM radio.

"But each service also has to be price-competitive and service-competitive to keep you from switching. They have to periodically roll out new features and improve the quality of existing features to keep up with the other. And they have to pay Joe Talkshow a decent salary to keep him from going to the other. Those things, again in my humble opinion, are preferable to having Oprah and Stern on just one service."

They would have to do all that even without a competing satellite radio service in order to get and keep customers. The fact of the matter is, XM's biggest competitor isn't Sirius, its traditional radio. As it is, you are not going to see many people flocking from one service to another. If you just spent $100 for an XM radio, you are not going to spend another $100 to get a Sirius radio just because they signed a personality you like.

Re:Go with logic (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717566)

Thats where people get upset over having to choose between one or the other, if you are a big sports fan you have to choose between listening to football or baseball on your XM radio.

Yeah, but why are they upset at anyone other than the agencies (like the NFL, NBA etc) who are signing these exclusivity contracts? They aren't good for the consumer, after all. They serve only to pad certain corporate pockets. Guess it's just the irrationality of the yokels who consume this content. Note that I realize it doesn't apply to all of you. (Gotta hate having to spew disclaimers nonstop for the slashbots...)

Re:Go with logic-Get both (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717248)

I have both installed in my 1996 Isuzu Rodeo. I have a Kenwood EZ-700SR CD/Receiver with integrated Sirius and iPod adaptor. It also has an auxillary input that I'm using to connect my external XM receiver, and occasionally my PSP.

Problem solved.

No Exclusivity? (2, Interesting)

kosanovich (678657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717382)

Actually, there's really not a lot of exclusivity between the two services.
That completely depends on what you listen to. If you are looking for generic "rock" channels or "country" music then you will find both on the two services. But if you are like me and bought satellite radio so you can still catch the sporting events on those 12 hour road trips then you had better decide what you like best.

If you like college sports, MLB or NHL then you had better choose XM. If you like NFL or NBA then you had better choose Sirius. There is no way to listen to college football and later the NFL on the same radio. This is actually a MAJOR draw back for a lot of people.

Re:Go with logic (4, Insightful)

honkycat (249849) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717400)

The broken thing with this whole business is that the systems do not interoperate.

Standard broadcast radio and cable TV have competition between channels, not between technologies. Cable has the local providers as well, acting as intermediaries to sell access to the stations to the end users. You don't have to have a separate TV to watch CBS and ABC since they both come in on the same technology.

There's not even a problem selling various levels of access -- you can opt for premium channels or not, and often pick and choose channel-by-channel. Sure, there's "piracy," but the business is still profitable.

Satellite radio needs to adopt this type of competition. The monolithic system it's using now is braindead, for exactly the reason that Sirius and XM would consider merging if they'd been permitted.

Re:Go with logic (2, Interesting)

kinglink (195330) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717620)

Logic != Good logic.

You bring up the NFL and that reminds me of another issue that is quite common. The Dish Network's stranglehold over NFL to the point where if you watch the NFL on cable you get 5-6 games a week, this is in a sporting even that has easily double that. Don't live in Boston? You're not getting the Patriots. Don't live in Green bay? You'll only see your packers a couple times a year. So who is helped out by this contract? Dish Network. Who is hurt? Everyone else.

The problem is this idea only works if Dish network has everything. Assume Cablenetworks (or Cablevision alone) is the only one with full Baseball so now when baseball season rolls around you NEED cablevision otherwise I can't see the Red Soxes, or I can't see the white soxes or what ever team is not local.

Then we get into issues of fans of both sports. How do you rectify that? You can't unless you expect them to switch networks half way through the year, of course Dish has contracts which hurts that option too.

The anti-trust is there to avoid letting the satillite radios to hurt the consumer, but once again anti-trust laws and the divisions they cause is what hurts the consumers, not the companies in this case. I don't think Sirius and XM are innocent here, I'm sure given the chance the merger will raise the cost a bit, but at the same time Sirius and XM will deliver what the fans want rather than having in-fighting to the point where no one is happy and satellite radio will just simply fail.

Hell, it's taken them almost 3 years to find ways to allow a person to buy one subscription to satillite radio and use it on all their Satillite radio devices (and even that is expensive), so implying that the anti-trust is advancing the services that they offer is just plain silly.

Re:Go with logic (1)

alabubba (992382) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717678)

Having had Sirius radio in my car for a year gratis, here is my $.02 worth:

1. I never listen to Stern, that would cut into time that I could use to enjoy some good music.

2. I rarely listen to CDs; the radio programming is interesting a varied.

3. My car makes a great boombox.

4. I paid for year #2, no qualms about it.

5. It is very nice to be able to travel across the state and beyond and never have to change stations (or hunt for a station that has decent reception), unless I want to listen to a different channel.

Bottom line is that for me, satellite radio is well worth it. I would simply get the car I wanted, and not worry about which provider it was linked with. It's all good (except Stern and Oprah!)

It just doesn't matter... (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17716904)

About two years ago I was on the verge of getting a satellite radio subscription .. And then I discovered the iPod. These days any money that I might have considered spending on a satellite radio subscription (with those ridiculous contracts) just gets spent on larger & larger iPods for my wife and I. Both broadcast and satellite radio have become irrelevant in our lives.

Re:It just doesn't matter... (3, Insightful)

benzapp (464105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717110)

If you aren't really into to obscure music, I could understand this being true. If however, you miss the days of radio actually exposing you to unique and interesting music - XM Radio is a great place. In particular XM 72, Beyond Jazz, is one of the few places you'll get to hear unique and interesting jazz that is way off the beaten path. I live in moderatey well known, but by no means famous, Brooklyn neighborhood with a small (say 800 square foot) bar known as Barbes [barbesbrooklyn.com]. A great jazz violinist known as Jenny Scheinman [jennyscheinman.com] was on this station. She probably has never been on the radio in NYC or anywhere else, but for that moment, anyone in the world had a chance to hear a great musician you once only could hear in this crazy small music venue.

XM Radio truly gives the average American an opportunity to hear music they never would even know how to find, and that's a good thing. I'm willing to pay $10 a month so serious music fiends can play good music without the undo influence of payola and advertiser pressure.

Oh, and yes, I've found tons of artists I never heard of on XM Radio, some so obscure you can't even find it on any common P2P network.

Re:It just doesn't matter... (1)

nizo (81281) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717278)

Hopefully she will become more popular here [www.last.fm]. Then again, sites like that on the web are were I find new artists, though it is a much more active process than listening to random folks on the radio.

Re:It just doesn't matter... (1)

benzapp (464105) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717508)

And you still aren't paying for an "expert" opinion. I'm not going to go to a site like that and listen to untold hundreds of hours of music. My time is worth much more than that.

The point is, XM Radio is like going to a small obscure music venue - DJ's on XM Radio actually go to these venues, I've met them. I don't have the time or energy to go to bars every night listening to music, but... XM Radio is the next best thing.

Highly recommended for interesting radio: WFMU (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717690)

Jenny Scheinman sure has been on NYC-area radio. In fact, pretty much the only NYC-area radio station worth listening to: WFMU-Jersey City, the "freeform station of the nation". If you are looking to find interesting music you've never heard before, go no farther. 91.1 in NYC area and 90.1 if you go up the Hudson valley a bit. http://wfmu.org/ [wfmu.org] on the web, streaming in many different formats. All shows archived, and searchable (http://wfmu.org/search.php [wfmu.org]), which is how I found that Jenny Scheinman has been played at least 19 times on WFMU in the past few years (maybe more, because some dj's are less fanatical about posting playlists than others). Find your favorite artist and jump to their song; it's like a gigantic jukebox. Many dj's on WFMU also do shows for XM and Sirius. I could go on and on, but please check them out...

Re:It just doesn't matter... (3, Insightful)

The Good Reverend (84440) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717536)

That's fine. I want new music, old music I forgot I liked, old music I never heard/appreciated the first time, and an large variety of stations and content that's not music. I like my own music collection, too, but there's much more to satellite radio than stuff I already have.

Oh, and my "ridiculous contract" is like $6/month. I hardly have any cheaper content subscriptions.

Twofo Pigfuckers (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17716918)

Twofo [twofo.co.uk] Is Dying
It is official; Netcraft confirms: Twofo is dying

One more crippling bombshell hit the already beleagured University of Warwick [warwick.ac.uk] filesharing community when ITS confirmed that Twofo total share has dropped yet again, now down to less than a fraction of 1 percent of all file sharing. Coming hot on the heels of a recent Netcraft survey which plainly states that Twofo has lost more share, this news serves to reinforce what we've known all along. Twofo is collapsing in complete disarry, as fittingly exemplified by failing dead last in the recent Student comprehensive leeching test.

You don't need to be one of the Hub Operators to predict Twofo's future. The hand writing is on the toilet wall: Twofo faces a bleak future. In fact there won't be any future at all for Twofo because Twofo is dying. Things are looking very bad for Twofo. As many of us are already aware, Twofo continues to lose users. Fines and disconnections flow like a river of feces.

N00b Campus users are the most endangered of them all, having lost 93% of their total share. The sudden and unpleasant departures of long time Twofo sharers fool_on_the_hill and Twinklefeet only serves to underscore the point more clearly. There can no longer be any doubt: Twofo is dying.

Let's keep to the facts and look at the numbers.

Sources indicate that there are at most 150 users in the hub. How many filelists have been downloaded? Let's see. 719. But 1621 Ip addresses have been logged, and 1727 nicks have been sighted connecting to one user over the last term. How many searches are there? 600 searches in 3 hours. The highest sharer on campus, known as "firstchoice", or Andrew Maddison Andrew.Maddison@warwick.ac.uk in real life, is sharing over 1 TiB, despite working in ITS and not being on the resnet. He's only there so people off campus who think they're too good for bittorrent can continue to abuse the University's internet connection.

Due to troubles at the University of Warwick, lack of internet bandwidth, enforcements of Acceptable Usage Policies, abysmal sharing, retarded leechers, clueless n00bs, and ITS fining and disconnecting users, Twofo has no future. All major student surveys show that Twofo has steadily declined in file share. Twofo is very sick and its long term survival prospects are very dim. If twofo is to survive at all it will be among p2p hardcore fuckwits, desperate to grab stuff for free off the internet. Nothing short of a miracle could save it at this point in time. For all practical purposes, Twofo is dead.

Fact: Twofo is dying

Open standards (5, Interesting)

c0d3h4x0r (604141) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716920)

Still, I don't like having to choose a car based on which satellite radio service comes pre-installed, or considering whether I'd rather have Howard Stern or Oprah, because there is no practical way to get both.

You could solve this with a monopoly offering a single proprietary solution.

Or you could enforce that both Sirius and XM adhere to and publish an open standard, such that a single receiver device can be used to tune in both. If the FCC had balls and were ethical, that's what they'd have done.

Re:Open standards (2, Interesting)

fishybell (516991) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717036)

Or you could enforce that both Sirius and XM adhere to and publish an open standard, such that a single receiver device can be used to tune in both.


And then some clever entrepeneur makes a cheap receiver that receives both, but for free. Both XM and Sirrius would then be forced to make up their money via advertising.

No thanks. The appeal of satellite radio is partially in the lack of advertising. I don't know how long this will last (remember that cable TV started out practically ad-free too), but it's good now for those willing to pay for the price of service.

Re:Open standards (1)

0xdeadbeef (28836) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717224)

And then some clever entrepeneur [sic] makes a cheap receiver that receives both, but for free.

And he'll go to jail. Do you have the slightest idea how these things work?

Re:Open standards (2, Insightful)

edwdig (47888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717528)

And then some clever entrepeneur [sic] makes a cheap receiver that receives both, but for free.

And he'll go to jail. Do you have the slightest idea how these things work?


Yeah, just like how the guy who cracked DVD encryption went to jail, and everyone stopped copying DVD movies.

Re:Open standards (1)

Valar (167606) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717532)

Not if s/he is from China. Do you even have the faintest idea how these things work?

Re:Open standards (5, Insightful)

DogDude (805747) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717132)

If the FCC had balls and were ethical, that's what they'd have done.

Forcing a company to alter their product with the force of law is never ethical. Besides, this isn't a service using public airwaves. These are private satellites broadcasting to private subscribers. The government has no place in telling either XM or Sirius what they can and cannot do.

Re:Open standards (2, Insightful)

pscottdv (676889) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717208)

How exactly are the airwaves XM and Sirius use any less public than any other airwave? They use up bandwidth just like any other transmission service.

I'll tell you what is unethical. The government telling me what I can and cannot do with electromagnetic signals that private companies beam right into my house without my permission.

Re:Open standards (1)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717264)

I'll tell you what is unethical. The government telling me what I can and cannot do with electromagnetic signals that private companies beam right into my house without my permission.

What's not ethical about that?

The government is acting at the behest of the people. The people want broadcast services. Society is better off when we can send information around without having to use wires all the time. So, if we want to be able to send information without wires, we, as a society, need to have some rules about how that is done.

Now, I'm not saying that the rules are the right rules, or that they're necessarily enforced in the best interests of the public, but there is nothing inherently unethical about the government promulgating rules that allow a common resource to be used effectively.

Re:Open standards (2, Interesting)

mangu (126918) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717340)

What's not ethical about that?


The fact that they are pushing their signals at me. They are sending me signals without me asking for it. Then the FCC says I cannot do whatever I want with the signals people sent me without me asking for it. It's like someone pushed a newspaper under my door and the FCC said I cannot read it unless I pay a $99.95/month subscription.


If they don't want me to decode their signal, they shouldn't beam that signal at me.

Re:Open standards (1)

heinousjay (683506) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717506)

And if you don't want to get shot, you shouldn't walk down the street. That's just as ridiculous.

Re:Open standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717606)

um, not so ridiculous to some of us. Thanks for caring.

Re:Open standards (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717518)

What's not ethical about that?

If it were ethical, portions of the radio spectrum would be handed out to those who will best serve society, not those who pay the most money in an auction.

Re:Open standards (1)

servognome (738846) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717768)

If it were ethical, portions of the radio spectrum would be handed out to those who will best serve society, not those who pay the most money in an auction.
How do you define who will best serve society?

Re:Open standards (1)

argle2bargle (794789) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717560)

What exactly are the rules for Satellite Transmissions?

What if XM was owned by a Chinese corporation, would they care what the FCC said?

What if XM said screw the FCC, would the US knock their satellites out of orbit?

How would that be different from voice of America, which is often broadcast in places where the local government would prefer it not be.

Re:Open standards (1)

anothy (83176) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717734)

for transmissions in space, the FCC isn't involved. but the FCC regulates transmissions in the US. the FCC doesn't (inherently) get to dictate what the satellite can or can't do (there may be some other NASA or DoD type agency who does, but i don't know of one), but they get to dictate what it can point at the US.

if a Chinese company owned the satellites, the FCC wouldn't really be able to stop them, unless they had US-based assets as well (like, say, a sales office, or retail distribution facilities, and so on). depending on how the technolgy works, the FCC might also be able to regulate sale and/or use of the receivers.

Re:Open standards (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717286)

First, XM and Sirius are not using "private" airwaves.

Second, the only thing that prevents some third-party company from producing a "free" combined XM and Sirius receiver is the government's ability to force that third-party company to alter their products.

Re:Open standards (1)

Fat Cow (13247) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717774)

The FCC doesn't have power over these companies - that's why Howard Stern went there in the first place

Science? (1)

eviloverlordx (99809) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716924)

How is this a science article? I would think it would be a political article, or 'your rights online', or some such.

Re:Science? (2, Funny)

eln (21727) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717058)

It's a Science article because they won't let kdawson use the Enlightenment icon anymore.

FM or AM? (3, Informative)

MightyMait (787428) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716934)

I can see the point of having competition, but having incompatible hardware is going a bit too far, isn't it?

What if, during the early days of broadcast TV, you had to chose between UHF and VHF? Or, with terestrial radio, FM and AM?

Seems kinda screwy!!

Re:FM or AM? (1)

QuasiEvil (74356) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716980)

If some radio company were smart, they'd build a combined receiver that could do either or both. There's the beauty of the free market for ya.

Personally, I'm happy with just Sirius. They provide more than enough content to keep me interested on even the longest trip. And as for having to choose a car based on sat radio, that's just silly. You can adapt either system to most factory units with the appropriate adapters. Of course all of my Hondas have their stock sound ripped out and replaced anyway, so it doesn't matter so much to me.

It's a funny ol' world (4, Insightful)

grasshoppa (657393) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716938)

Where AT&T is allowed to consolidate and satellite radio is not.

Regardless of the reasons, it looks awfully funny to those outside.

Re:It's a funny ol' world (4, Insightful)

KingSkippus (799657) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716992)

AT&T gives much, much more money to politicians.

Re:It's a funny ol' world (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717752)

And their marketing department(s).

I was with AT&T for my cell service back around 1999 to 2004 or so. They got bought, I thought, by Cingular. There were TV ads that ran "AT&T is now (joining with) Cingular" or some such. All my bills went from the AT&T logo to Cingular; even had to go through hoops on Cingular's website to get to the old AT&T interface to pay my bill online. I changed providers shortly after the merger.

Now, this year, I'm watching some show and it's "Cingular is now the new AT&T."

What's that saying, if you travel long enough, you meet yourself? AT&T must have via Cingular. What is old is new again. Because they both still suck.

Re:It's a funny ol' world (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717018)

Mod this up. This is really a sad state of affairs.

Satelite radio?! What's that?! (1)

erroneus (253617) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716950)

The only way I can see using satelite radio is if traditional radio broadcasters reduce power to the point of being unusable the way broadcast TV did...

Re:Satelite radio?! What's that?! (1)

Ryokurin (74729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717134)

Its about having choice. What if you want to listen to Jazz but the area you live in only has pop, country and rock to offer? In the end this is just like people complaining about having to pay for Television when Cable was new.

Ever listened to satalite radio? (3, Interesting)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717320)

I have an XM subscription. Kills regular radio dead.

- I live near Eau Claire, Wisconsin. Needless to say, the selection of stations is not exactly the broadest. Definite XM advantage here.
- I frequently drive through areas with even LESS of a selection of stations than Eau Claire. XM is a godsend when you'd otherwise be spending hours driving through, say, Nebraska, listening to Country or Country.
- No commercials on (most) XM stations! Listening to radio is much nicer when you're not constantly interrupted with whatever the radio promotion of the week is.
- NO MORNING SHOWS! Well, actually, there are morning shows, but they don't TAKE OVER your regular radio stations and prevent you from listening to actual music.

Now, maybe you personally don't want to pay for radio. That's fine. But there is no shortage of reasons why someone would be willing to pay for the features satellite radio offers over regular broadcast stations.

Stern or Oprah? (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716956)

Still, I don't like having to choose a car based on which satellite radio service comes pre-installed, or considering whether I'd rather have Howard Stern or Oprah, because there is no practical way to get both.

Is there anyone on the planet who wants to listen to BOTH Howard Stern AND Oprah?

I would think the desire for one would automatically exclude the other.

Re:Stern or Oprah? (4, Funny)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716996)

Is there anyone on the planet who wants to listen to BOTH Howard Stern AND Oprah?

No, but you could have two people, each who want to listen to one of the two, but who would also like to share a sattelite radio service.

How could such a mysterious circumstance come about? How should I know; I'm a slashdotter too.

Re:Stern or Oprah? (1)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717050)

How could such a mysterious circumstance come about? How should I know; I'm a slashdotter too.

I don't know either, but I can tell you that Stern fans do not marry Oprah fans. Their DNA would magnetically repel them from each other.

Hah! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717042)

My 8-track and I don't need either of them.

Re:Stern or Oprah? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717314)

Mutually exclusive!

Re:Stern or Oprah? (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717598)

Is there anyone on the planet who wants to listen to BOTH Howard Stern AND Oprah? I would think the desire for one would automatically exclude the other.

Besides the other nicely logical responses around here there is the following: Lots of people in both camps probably listen to the radio show of the other camp so that they can know what to complain about around the water cooler instead of working.

(Hooray for slashdot, I require neither of those lames.)

Decisions (1)

Nasarius (593729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716964)

considering whether I'd rather have Howard Stern or Oprah, because there is no practical way to get both.
Here's a tip to anyone trying to choose between Howard Stern and Oprah: you don't exist.

TIme for a hybrid player (2, Insightful)

HaeMaker (221642) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716986)

I can get a stereo that can play DTS and Dolby 5.1, I can get a quad-band cell phone. Perhaps it is time to make players that support both, then you can pick and choose, based on who has the best content.

Choose your car based on pre-installed satellite radio? That's hard core.

Re:TIme for a hybrid player (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717636)

Choose your car based on pre-installed satellite radio? That's hard core.

It's also very "American".

I bought a car to drive it. It happens to be German, since the Germans seem to be the only ones who understand that cars are for driving, not listening to the radio, watching a movie, or eating a meal (that is, as much as McD's and Starbucks can be considered "a meal").

My car has a standard transmission, only 2 cupholders (for 5 seatbelts), and a radio I never turn on. I obey the traffic laws, but you might want to hold on.

I didn't think I was a car snob, but I really can't imagine wanting satellite radio in my car.

Monopolies are none of government's business (0, Flamebait)

kmweber (196563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17716994)

Whether or not monopolies are "good for consumers" is irrelevant.

It's not government's place to care.

It's government's place to stay the hell out of the way. All government needs to do is enforce contracts that any given set of individuals choose to make among themselves and arrest and punish those who initiate, attempt to initiate, or threaten to initiate physical force or fraud against the person or property of another without his consent.

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (4, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717054)

Whether or not monopolies are "good for consumers" is irrelevant.

It's not government's place to care.


Actually anti-trust is one of the few legitimate places for the government to care. Fixing the fundamentally broken corner-cases of capitalism is a fine use of government power.

All government needs to do is enforce contracts that any given set of individuals choose to make among themselves and arrest and punish those who initiate, attempt to initiate, or threaten to initiate physical force or fraud against the person or property of another without his consent.

Okay, maybe your idea of utopia is where all food manufacturers are bought by wal-mart and the contract you "choose" to sign with them is whatever the hell they want because your choice is to sign or starve to death, but for the rest of us sane people, I'd like to prevent that kind of thing even in its less extreme forms.

But thanks for once again reminding why despite feeling strongly affiliated with the principles of Libertarianism i could never, ever call myself one because of just how insane those principles are when taken to the extreme, and just how willing people are to take them to that extreme.

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (0, Flamebait)

kmweber (196563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717130)

Actually anti-trust is one of the few legitimate places for the government to care. Fixing the fundamentally broken corner-cases of capitalism is a fine use of government power.
No, it's not--desirable end results are none of government's concern.

Okay, maybe your idea of utopia is where all food manufacturers are bought by wal-mart and the contract you "choose" to sign with them is whatever the hell they want because your choice is to sign or starve to death, but for the rest of us sane people, I'd like to prevent that kind of thing even in its less extreme forms.
Then you are pure evil and have no moral right to exist, because you are willing to endorse the wholesale violation of individual rights.

Shame on you.

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (2, Insightful)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717216)

No, it's not--desirable end results are none of government's concern.

Well they're my concern, and unlike your hypothetical corporate-run universe, in my world the government works on my behalf. So yes, desireable end results are the governments concern.

Desirable end results are not a corporations concern, as what is desireable from the peoples' standpoint usually means less-than-ideal profit for the corporation.

Then you are pure evil and have no moral right to exist, because you are willing to endorse the wholesale violation of individual rights.

You only believe in the rights of those with the wealth to pay for them, and you're calling me evil? You endorse the wholesale enslavement of the populace in the name of corporate profit, dress it up as "individual rights" -- which to you means the right to own slaves, so long as they can be coerced into agreeing to it under pain of starvation -- and think you have a moral leg to stand on?

Lasse-Faire capitalism is the same as corporate dictatorship. One leads into the other as naturally as water running downhill. You will have no individual rights, because you will sign them away and become a slave to corporate-owned society -- or die. And this is what you wish for. Seriously, that's despicable.

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (4, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717312)

Bullshit. What a simple, knee-jerk, ad-hominem response. I cuold as easily say that you are evil because you advocate a system that will inevitably lead to economic feudalism. Chris' point is important: in all unregulated free markets, wealth invariably acumulates to the point where the poorest have no access to the means of supporting themselves, and must sign into unfair contracts in order to merely survive.

Let's look at the concept of rights. Outside of society, there are no rights. I repeat: individuals have no rights. They don't need them. Think about it, if you were alone on the planet, would the concept of rights even occur to you? No. It is only because we operate in a society that my right to swing my fist conflicts with your right not to be hit in the face.

All rights are a compromise, and a contract. You agree to do, or not to do something in exchange for the agreement that others will act similarly. Without the protection of others, your rights would be meaningless. There is no ultimate authority from which to derive a set of absolute rights. There is no natural law which all people will interperate the same way, arriving at the same list of rights. Therefore, rights are what we as a society mutually agree to uphold in each other. No more, no less.

What rights a society chooses to enforce are up to the members of that society. If you don't like it, you are free to leave. But you have no right to force the rest of us to enact your prefered social system. You have basically stated that you feel you have the right to kill those who don't agree with your definition of what rights are important. Good luck with that.
 

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (1, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717116)

It's the government's job to enact the will of the people. Some of us know that the free market does not work efficiently where there are natural monopolies, externalities or imbalance of information. We know that such an unregulated market will not long remain free. Even Adam Smith said the same in Wealth of Nations.

We have chosen to enact a government that regulates the free market. We believe it is the government's place to care. If you do not want to participate, you are free to leave. Where you go, or even if you have a place to go, is not our concern.

Fortunately for the rest of us, you do not have the power to force us to enact your system. We'd be living under economic feudalism in no time.

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (1)

kmweber (196563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717204)

It's the government's job to enact the will of the people.
No, it's not.

The legitimate function of government--and the US government was the first (and so far the only) government set up in line with this principle--is to protect individual rights regardless of the will of the "people", the "king", or anyone else. Individual rights are more important than the majority willl.

Some of us know that the free market does not work efficiently where there are natural monopolies, externalities or imbalance of information.
That is irrelevant. As Ayn Rand explained, the proper justification for the free market is not that it is the most effective at producing wealth (though it is), but rather that it is the only system that respects individual rights. Because of this, any attack on the free market is an attack on individual rights.

We have chosen to enact a government that regulates the free market. We believe it is the government's place to care.
You don't get to make that choice, because no government is entitled to violate individual rights.

If you do not want to participate, you are free to leave. Where you go, or even if you have a place to go, is not our concern.
I am not obligated to give up my property and my current life--which are mine not by permission or privilege but by right--simply to avoid having my rights violated. Rather, you are simply obligated to cease violating my rights.

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (1)

spun (1352) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717384)

Admitting to following the teachings of Ayn Rand is akin to admitting to being a Scientologist. It does not do good things for your reputation among intelligent people.

It is just as immoral for an owning class to dictate terms to the non-owning class as it is for a government to do so. Your political and ecomomic theories just trade one kind of domination for another.

If you don't like the social system that has been enacted by the will of the majority, you are free to leave.

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (1)

vertinox (846076) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717396)

I am not obligated to give up my property and my current life--which are mine not by permission or privilege but by right--simply to avoid having my rights violated. Rather, you are simply obligated to cease violating my rights.

I hate to point this out, but you are aware of eminent domain [wikipedia.org] and the draft [wikipedia.org].

I don't like the idea of them either, but it is kind of pointless to say that our society and or government works.

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (1)

Planesdragon (210349) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717296)

It's government's place to stay the hell out of the way.

Nope. It's government's place to enforce the law, and the law says you can't buy your way into a monopoly.

Don't like the law? Who are you supporting for Congress, or where's your Constitutional amendment to explictly enshrine your interpretation?

Re:Monopolies are none of government's business (1)

kmweber (196563) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717336)

I am not morally obligated to abide by a wrong law.

Government is not morally entitled to either enact a wrong law or susbequently enforce it.

So, I don't need to do anything.

But, if the government keeps getting uppity like it has than I am certainly willing to remind it of its place.

So get rid of corporations then. (0)

spiritraveller (641174) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717676)

It's government's place to stay the hell out of the way. All government needs to do is enforce contracts that any given set of individuals choose to make among themselves and arrest and punish those who initiate, attempt to initiate, or threaten to initiate physical force or fraud against the person or property of another without his consent.

You forget that corporations are created by government. So if government has to stay out of the way, then we start by getting rid of the corporate status.

If we did this, Sirius and XM would instead be partnerships. All of the investors in those companies would be jointly and severally liable for the contracts and the torts of the partnership (as you point out, enforcement of those things is the only purpose of government).

All the investors would be risking their life savings in order to start a satellite radio company. There wouldn't be a lot of people willing to invest in those partnerships. So there wouldn't be much danger of them becoming monopolies... Hell, there wouldn't even be much likelihood of them existing.

Have fun riding your horse and buggy to work... oh, and your computer just disappeared. No one was willing to invest the money to invent it (or to manufacture it even if it had been invented).

Anyone else see this leading to more oversight. (2, Interesting)

docdude316 (836485) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717026)

I know there's been talks about the two companies merging to deal with financial trouble that was incured from startup costs. Does anyone else think that the FCC might let them merge if and only if they allow the FCC to oversee what they put on the air. The FCC already has too much power this won't help any. We need to go to European type standards, not make ours even stricter.

Get mp3 player instead (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717078)

I used to listen to Sirius and it sure has many channels... of crap.

Since then I bought a tiny Archos Gmini 20GB mp3 player and now listen to what I want when I want it. Allofmp3.com is another factor.

Solved problem. (2, Funny)

eddy (18759) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717160)

Break out common functionality and put it in a superclass which both children inherit.

Satalite Radio should be like TV and regular radio (5, Insightful)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717206)

Regular radio, there are multiple, independent stations that deliver content over a standard medium to standard receivers.

Television is distributed in that manner, as well as by cable and satellite distribution companies which are (mostly) separate from the stations.

Satellite radio is weird, because the entity you pay for distribution is the same entity providing the programming.

So, let XM and Sirius form and spin-off a third company that handles the satellite infrastructure.

Let various manufacturers sell satellite radio receivers.

Keep XM and Sirius as separate providers of programming, much like HBO and Cinemax. As a consumer, you can buy one, the other, or both, and get it all on one receiver.

Choice is a good thing (1)

edwardpickman (965122) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717388)

Personally I was planning to get XM radio because Im sick of the ten minutes of music then ten minutes of commercials I get on terestrial radio. The problem being if they merge I dont care to in anyway support Howard Stern. Its a personal taste thing but he drives me nuts. I hated high school and the guy gives me serious flashbacks. If Im left with no choice between the two Ill default to CDs and save the money. Im sure some feel the same about Oprah, personally I have no opinion. I realize there are multiple channels but the one power you have is to vote with your dollars.

The real problem is if they are trying to merge it means neither is profitable, no shock there, so both will likely go under. For my two cents I say let them merge if you do one thing. Separate the pricing so you have your choice. I have no interest in supporting shock jocks, Oprah neither. I say offer package deals where you can get talk or music or a bundle of both. If you cant have competition at least have choice.

Re:Choice is a good thing (2, Insightful)

maxrate (886773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717648)

Don't like Stern? Don't listen to him. Besides, he's already been paid up. You're not giving him money. It's long history. The subscribership of Sirius paid stern off 8 months ago. He has a contract with Sirius for 5 years - he's been paid.

Re:Choice is a good thing (1)

edwdig (47888) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717694)

The real problem is if they are trying to merge it means neither is profitable, no shock there, so both will likely go under. For my two cents I say let them merge if you do one thing. Separate the pricing so you have your choice. I have no interest in supporting shock jocks, Oprah neither. I say offer package deals where you can get talk or music or a bundle of both. If you cant have competition at least have choice.

Sirius wants to merge because their market cap is significantly higher than XM's, but XM has more subscribers and is closer to being profitable. They feel they have a chance of buying XM below value, and improving their position in the process.

XM would only agree to it if Sirius gave them an offer well above what you'd expect by comparing market caps.

Damn You, FCC! (3, Interesting)

h4ck7h3p14n37 (926070) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717410)

I _really_ wish the FCC would stop trying to control markets and technologies. I can understand the issues with interference, but exactly how is a monopoly in a new and developing industry a bad thing for consumers? Isn't the first company providing services in a certain space a monopoly? Does that mean we shouldn't allow a company to come up with a new radio technology unless there's another company that's also doing it?

Being a monopoly is not evil in and of itself, it's when that monopoly uses its power to keep others out of the market that it becomes a problem. How exactly could a merger of Sirius and XM Radio keep others out of the market? It's not like they can prevent competitors from launching satellites, or buying bandwidth on someone else's satellite. Consumers will always be free to purchase a new receiver if need be.

Once again... (2, Interesting)

ellem (147712) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717424)

Once again let me state, the FCC needs to be abolished. It serves no purpose. It failed at it's only given task. It is a pointless commission that loses billions of dollars. I mean literally loses. Hey where's that two billion we got siphoning off the phone bills of Americans? It was just here a minute ago I swear.

Is Satellite Radio such a revolution anyway? (1)

Flipao (903929) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717438)

I know Stern loves to compare it with the second coming of the Christ, but come on... is bouncing signals off satellites the best way to deliver content nowadays?, it wasn't such a novel idea in 1997, it can't be all that now, or can it?

Don't get either one (1)

iamacat (583406) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717462)

There is plenty of good, ad free content on Internet radio stations. I wrote an Internet Radio Recorder [netgate.net] for Mac, and I am sure you can easily find options for Windows and Linux. There are also lots of free music and talk podcasts on iTunes. Why pay a monthly subscription fee for something you will only use once in a while? How many talk shows you are going to listen to anyway?

They don't need to merge (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717476)

Just use the same frakin radio

Sat radio sattelite monopoly- hardly scary (3, Interesting)

dfenstrate (202098) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717544)

If there was a monopoly in sattelite radio.... so what?

It's an optional service. No one, by any stretch of the imagination, needs to buy sattelite radio service.

If they piss off their customers, what are the customers gonna do?

STOP PAYING THEM.

That's all. Folks will listen to free broadcast radio or cd's instead. They won't starve, they won't have to dig up a precious resource themselves, and they won't have to kill someone in the streets to get their fix.

But hey, the FCC got to flex their muscle. They must be proud.

Re:Sat radio sattelite monopoly- hardly scary (1)

KermodeBear (738243) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717660)

You have a good point. Additionally, if there was a satellite radio monopoly it wouldn't prevent a second party from starting up to compete - which would certainly happen if the one monopoly company started abusing customers. In general I think that keeping monopolies down is good for capitalism, and in this case it may still be the right thing to do, but I don't see any great harm in allowing the two to merge.

Of course, hind sight is 20/20. We're all seriously blind about the future, aren't we?

Fine, let's follow the example (1)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717578)

So the companies can't merge. The recievers can. So let's have one that pick up both signals. They did it with AM stereo. And they're doing it with our fancy new disk players. Am I being redundant here?

antitrust? (1)

DragonTHC (208439) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717586)

how on earth could the AT&T/Bellsouth merger been granted if this doesn't go through?

AT&T now owns 60% of the bells in the country. again!

just because there are only 2 satellite radio companies doesn't mean merging is a bad thing.

the technology and content is still too expensive to affect too many people.

Merging would bring the one company in a better position to aggregate their technology and content to the masses.

Great example. (1)

Beatlebum (213957) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717592)

>> or considering whether I'd rather have Howard Stern or Oprah, because there is no practical way to get both

A=Oprah's fans
B=Stern's fans.
A intersection B = {null}.

monopolies != bad for consumers (1)

zobier (585066) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717626)

I know that competition is a good thing for consumers, and monopolies are generally only good for companies.
Personally, I don't want every Tom, Dick and Harry laying utility services in my street, this includes fibre & cables as well as gas and water pipes. What a nightmare that'd be. I don't want their RF pollution either. And being granted such a monopoly isn't necessarily good for companies as they have to play fair due to anti-competition regulations and provide good wholesale rates to their competitors.

With music, software or any other media, however, there's no digging or interruption to local traffic. Companies trying to hold a monopoly there, e.g. by lobbying politicians, can go and fuck themselves.

Also, If you pollute my space with your RF transmissions, I'll do what ever the hell I like with them.

shared programming maybe? (1)

gibbynoz (414645) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717634)

The solution as I see it is for the satellite radios to share content the way cable companies can. You don't have to choose between The Discovery Channel and ESPN on cable. But I can't have Stern and baseball without getting both XM and SIRIUS.

For some reason satellite radio providers are in charge of the content and the distribution. I don' t understand the underlying difference in the markets.

Noz

HOWARD STERN and Satellite Radio (4, Insightful)

maxrate (886773) | more than 7 years ago | (#17717706)

The Howard Stern channels (100 and 101) are two of about 160+ channels available on Sirius satellite.

If you don't like Stern - don't listen!

Actually, his show is far better on satellite then it ever was on terrestrial radio.

If you buy satellite radio (Sirius) I guarantee that you'll tune in to his channel one day, and something on his show will make you laugh. I used to be anti-Stern as well, but really the show is quite entertaining. All the challenging/serious computer work all day can make you want to listen to some fun trash talk. His show can be a de-stresser for me at times. Sometimes the show is dull / sometimes it is absolutely hilarious! Now that it's on satellite, give it a try. I think you can subscribe just to the on-line radio (Sirius has an internet feed). Try it for a month before you buy the hardware.

I go on long drives often (500km-1100km) - it's nice not having to hunt for radio stations while you're driving. Satellite has really changed the way I listen to music while driving. iPod - I have one of those. I'm a busy professional and don't have time to dink around downloading songs or bothering with DRM.

There's plenty of competition (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717710)

I don't understand how a merger could be denied. How big was Clear Channel allowed to get again? An XM and Sirius company would still compete with terrestrial radio, television, online music, etc.

This is great! Think about it.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#17717718)

This decision promotes competition, but since they've stated they are interested in merging should provide impetus to develop similar hardware standards. It would have to happen if a merger were ever approved. So good for consumers, and if the companies are friggin retarded, should create standards!
Load More Comments
Slashdot Account

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?

Don't worry, we never post anything without your permission.

Submission Text Formatting Tips

We support a small subset of HTML, namely these tags:

  • b
  • i
  • p
  • br
  • a
  • ol
  • ul
  • li
  • dl
  • dt
  • dd
  • em
  • strong
  • tt
  • blockquote
  • div
  • quote
  • ecode

"ecode" can be used for code snippets, for example:

<ecode>    while(1) { do_something(); } </ecode>
Sign up for Slashdot Newsletters
Create a Slashdot Account

Loading...