Friday, May 25, 2007

Karmazin not keen on chances of Sirius XM Radio merger

In the words of George Carlin, "It's always darkest before going completely black!" The CEO of Sirius Satellite Radio is starting to doubt the likelihood of Sirius and XM getting together.

TWICE: Sirius Calls Merger ‘Uphill Battle’
New York — Sirius Satellite Radio CEO Mel Karmazin told shareholders this morning that the Sirius/XM Satellite Radio merger is an “uphill battle.”
While stating that he continues to believe the merger merits approval by government regulators, Karmazin admitted that Wall Street estimates there is an “80 percent likelihood that the merger is not going to happen.”
This contrasts with a comment earlier this month by
XM CEO Hugh Panero stating, “We continue to believe we will ultimately receive the necessary approval to continue with the merger.”

Given the amount of pressure from the terrestrial radio lobby, not to mention the myopic approach the regulators have towards what consititutes a "monopoly" (hint, in this day and age, no one has a monopoly on any one medium), it's not looking good for satellite radio's attempt to bolster themselves by sticking together.

It might be for the best, since as reported earlier, the merger looked like it was going to be a major pain in the ass for manufacturers of devices with compatible tuners. I'm sure many HiFi companies are breathing a sigh of relief at the prospect of not having to offer awkward upgrades.

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