WASHINGTON, DC – A letter signed by 72 members of the House of Representatives was sent today to FCC Chairman Kevin Martin, Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, and Federal Trade Commission Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras expressing formal opposition to the proposed government-sanctioned monopoly of XM and Sirius Satellite Radio.
"On its face, we believe that sanctioning the marriage of the only competitors in the satellite radio market would create a monopoly which would be devastating to consumers," said today's letter, which was authored by Reps. Gene Green (D-TX), vice chair of the Subcommittee on Health, and Jim Sensenbrenner (R-WI), second highest ranking member of the House Judiciary Committee.
Among the 47 Democrats who signed the letter are: Budget Committee Chair John Spratt (D-SC), Agriculture Committee Chair Collin Peterson (D-MN), Rules Committee Chair Louise Slaughter (D-NY), and Presidential candidate Dennis Kucinich (D-OH).
Among the 25 Republicans who signed the letter are former House Speaker Dennis Hastert (R-IL), Republican Whip Roy Blunt (R-MO), and National Republican Congressional Committee Chairman Tom Cole (R-OK).
In addition to today's letter, other lawmakers have expressed opposition to the proposed merger-to-monopoly. Last month, House Energy and Commerce Committee Vice Chairman Mike Doyle (D-PA) sent a letter opposing the XM/Sirius merger to Attorney General Alberto Gonzales, FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and FTC Chairman Deborah Platt Majoras. A day later, Sen. Herb Kohl (D-WI), chairman of the Subcommittee on Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights, sent his own letter to Martin and Assistant Attorney General Thomas Barnett expressing opposition.
Additionally, opposition has also come from Reps. James Walsh (D-NY) and John McHugh (R-NY), and just last week, House Judiciary Chairman John Conyers (D-MI) and House Judiciary Antitrust Task Force Ranking Member Rep. Steve Chabot (R-OH) sent a letter to Martin and Gonzales asking a series of tough questions related to the merger.
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.