Posted by Brad @ 12:32 am on April 30th 2007

The Great Satellite Radio Antitrust Smackdown

I posted about it before, but the proposed XM/Sirius merger continues to interest me, as an intriguing test case in the new technological business dynamics.

Vedran Vuk (not a professional wrestler) has a persuasive case about the insanity of not allowing the merger to go through, but mostly he examines why XM and Sirius are likely to fail to appease the political masters of the market. It has less to do, in Vuk’s estimation, with the genuine case against monopoly (Vuk finds that unpersuasive, given that both companies are bleeding money hand over fist and haven’t had a profitable quarter yet), and more to do with the stations’ previous ill-advised pledges towards anti-trust compliance, the political teeth of the National Association of Broadcasters, and mainly, like Microsoft, their inability to grease the appropriate palms.

The conclusion?

Using antitrust laws to slam down two failing companies desperately attempting to create a profitable innovative service for consumers is a blatant and disturbing display of what antitrust law really means, coercion and intimidation.

I tend to agree.

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