WASHINGTON, DC Following news reports that the Federal Communications Commission will grant XM and Sirius Satellite Radio's request for a monopoly by a 3-2 vote, NAB Executive Vice President Dennis Wharton issued the following statement:
"This sweetheart deal for Wall Street speculators is premised on a promise that a monopoly will provide consumers with lower prices, better service and more programming formats. Only members of the Flat Earth Society would buy into such specious nonsense.
"Just six years ago, the FCC denied a monopoly to the nation's only two satellite TV companies in a 5-0 vote. Yet today, the Commission is apparently preparing to grant a monopoly to the nation's only two satellite radio companies that in their 11 years of existence have had more luck flaunting the FCC's own rules than creating a successful business model.
"Historians will view this satellite radio giveaway as an irrational departure from 118 years of antitrust law wisely founded on the unassailable reality that competition serves consumers better than monopolies. NAB thanks Commissioners Copps and Adelstein -- along with consumer groups, 80 bipartisan members of Congress, and scores of labor, minority and antitrust organizations -- who stood against this wrongheaded monopoly. Given such overwhelming opposition, we're not convinced the final chapter of this book has been written."
The National Association of Broadcasters is a trade association that advocates on behalf of more than 8,300 free, local radio and television stations and also broadcast networks before Congress, the Federal Communications Commission and the Courts. Information about NAB can be found at www.nab.org.