Mel Karmazin‘s behind the scenes wrangling to push through the merger of New York-based Sirius and XM through the FCC, against the gigantic efforts of the NAB, continues. In a confessional pitch to the Washington Times highlighting the a la carte pricing option, Karmazin wrote: “The National Association of Broadcasters and its allies have opposed the merger of Sirius and XM, arguing that the merger will be anti-competitive.” “Think about that for a moment. Have you ever heard of a product or service that hurt competition by lowering prices and increasing choice? I don’t think so. In fact, it seems to me the NAB isn’t afraid the merger will foster too little competition. It’s afraid it will foster too much.”
Karmazin unveiled the a la carte pricing at a speech to the National Press Club last month. At the time of the announcement, the NAB’s Dennis Wharton told the Washington Post, “The history of antitrust law demonstrates that two hotly competitive companies will promise anything to become a monopoly.” Among those opposing the merger: a bipartisan group of 72 congressmembers. Those in favor: various minority organizations and New York Archbishop Cardinal Edward Egan.