2008 • Volume 33 • Number 2

Satellite Radio Monopoly

Joel D. Corriero

This comment examines the proposed merger agreement between Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. (Sirius) and XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. (XM). It begins by examining the origin of satellite radio and the current state of Sirius and XM. It proceeds by taking an in-depth look at the Federal Communications Commission’s (FCC) public interest analysis and applies that analysis to the current proposed merger. This comment shows that the proposed merger is not anticompetitive, as supported by the Department of Justice in its review of the XM-Sirius merger. Rather, the relevant product market in which satellite radio competes is far broader than satellite radio in the strictest sense. Moreover, this comment will balance the potential public interest harms of the proposed merger against the potential public interest benefits, and indicate how the benefits clearly outweigh the harms. This notion is then further substantiated by analogizing previous FCC orders in relation to the current XM-Sirius proposed merger, and by acknowledging that the shareholders of Sirius and XM have both voted in favor of the proposed merger.