Satellite radio comedy on the Hill

Rico Gagliano Mar 1, 2007

Satellite radio comedy on the Hill

Rico Gagliano Mar 1, 2007


SCOTT JAGOW: The CEO of Sirius satellite radio testified before Congress yesterday. He was making his case for a merger with the only other satellite radio company, XM. He said such a merger wouldn’t restrict choices because satellite radio competes with many different media. We imagined a different version of the House hearing.

CONGRESSMAN: Mr. Karmazin, can you explain to us your reasoning here?

KARMAZIN: Certainly Congressman. Currently there are two satellite radio companies. When they merge, there will be one. And so there will be plenty of choices for consumers.

CONGRESSMAN: Uh, forgive my ignorance, but that seems contradictory.

KARMAZIN: Ah. Perhaps a metaphor will explain things. Say you have two scoops of ice cream. Chocolate and vanilla. If the vanilla is taken away, you still have two different ice cream flavors to choose from.

CONGRESSMAN: No you don’t, you just have one flavor.

KARMAZIN: That’s incorrect.

CONGRESSMAN: Mr. Karmazin, let me try something here: I’m holding up two fingers.


CONGRESSMAN: Now I’m taking one away. How many am I holding up?

KARMAZIN: Twenty fingers.

CONGRESSMAN: Mm-hm. And now I’m not holding up any fingers.

KARMAZIN: Leaving a total of 97 fingers.

CONGRESSMAN: Mr. Karmazin, sir, in light of this testimony, sir, why should Congress take your company’s plan seriously?

KARMAZIN: Because we have two things: money.

Our sketch was produced by Rico Gagliano.

In all Sirius-ness, Karmazin did say he would agree to pricing caps in order to win government approval of the merger with XM.

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