FCC Has No Right to Block the Merger of Sirius and XM Satellite Radio
By David Holcberg (Chicago Tribune, February 21; Los Angeles Times, February 25; San Jose Mercury News, March 22, 2007)
The government has no right to prohibit companies like Sirius and XM Satellite Radio from merging and increasing their market share. Mergers are a legitimate business strategy used to improve productivity, boost profits, gain customers, expand activities, increase sales, and achieve many other worthy goals.
Any limitation imposed by government on the ability of media companies to publish or broadcast their content is of particular concern because it violates their free speech rights protected under the First Amendment. Limitations on "concentration" imposed by the FCC do not protect free speech--they abridge it.
All companies, including media companies, should be free to decide whether it is in their self-interest to merge or expand--and should be free to act on, and profit from, their decisions. Such decisions are none of the government’s business and should be left solely to the companies.