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A la carte satellite to sweeten the deal

Ashley Milne-Tyte Jul 24, 2007


Lisa Napoli: XM Satellite Radio and Sirius are pulling out all the stops to convince the government to let them merge. Here’s Ashley Milne-Tyte with details.

Ashley Milne-Tyte: Under the proposal, subscribers could pay $6.99 for 50 stations — or they could pick 100 favorite stations for 14.99. Those are just a couple of the packages on the table. Gene Kimmelman of the Consumers Union says this a la carte menu is easy to swallowa€¦

Gene Kimmelman: Because media companies from cable television across to satellite radio have for years said they could not offer consumers the ability to choose separate channels and offer lower prices.

He says it’s amazing what companies can whip up with when there’s a longed-for merger at stake. Still, Kimmelman says his group is wary of one satellite radio giant. He says even offering more choice, XM and Sirius together would be a monopoly.

Supporters of the merger say the proposed company would be no such thing, because terrestrial radio, Internet radio and MP3 players all count as competition.

In New York, I’m Ashley Milne-Tyte for Marketplace.

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