Research firm, The Carmel Group, has come out with a new report that supposedly tries to show why having XM and Sirius merge would be bad for consumers. The group also put out a similar report back when DirecTV and EchoStar tried to merge -- and some credit that report with killing off that merger. What the report apparently tries to highlight is that as Sirius and XM competed with each other, they continually tried to one-up each other with new features and services -- thus suggesting that competition between the two was strong. Now, obviously, we feel that competition like this does drive innovation, but it brushes aside the fact that competition also comes from terrestrial radio, iPods and other forms of entertainment. The folks over at Orbitcast point out that they could just as easily create a report highlighting how terrestrial radio has changed as it competes with satellite radio as well. Still, the silliest thing about this "research" is that the press is reporting that this is an "independent" report -- despite being funded by the NAB. We've already covered some of the dirty tricks the NAB is pulling in trying to prevent the merger, but to call a report that they funded "independent" isn't exactly realistic. The group is squarely against the merger, though the stronger they come out against the merger, the weaker their argument is. If they really believe that satellite radio doesn't compete with terrestrial radio (who the NAB represents), then why are they so concerned about the merger? If it would really lead to higher prices for consumers and less service, wouldn't that be a good thing for terrestrial radio? It would mean that more people would stick with good old fashioned terrestrial radio rather than bailing for satellite radio.
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