On Wednesday, we noted how an analyst's view of the competition satellite-radio companies face changed drastically once his firm got paid by the NAB -- the group representing terrestrial radio broadcasters that's fighting the XM-Sirius merger. Back in 2005, before being influenced by the NAB's money, the analyst said that satellite radio faced competition from a wide variety of other media, including terrestrial radio, MP3 players and internet services. Fast-forward to a few weeks ago, after the NAB hired his firm to write a biased report in yet another attempt to undermine the merger, and he calls such a viewpoint "ludicrous." Now, the guy denies flip-flopping, saying that his 2005 viewpoint was talking about competition that satellite radio might face in the future. Right, that explains things. Only it doesn't. While the 2005 report does discuss how the market will play out in the future, it also talks about how satellite radio was already facing "in-car competition" from AM and FM radio and other media. The guy denies the assertion that he's an NAB shill, even though he admits that he was hired to write something "the NAB could use". The NAB and its shills can assert that they don't compete with satellite radio until they're blue in the face, but it simply isn't true. Not only do their protestations about the merger undermine this claim, but as a commenter pointed out, the NAB's chairman and CEO David Rehr has even talked about how the terrestrial radio industry is facing competition from "satellite radio, Internet radio, iPODs, other MP3 players, cell phones and others." In that very same speech to the National Press Club, Rehr talks about "the best new business models of any industry can be stopped cold by wrong legislation or regulation." He's right on that point -- when that regulation masks an entrenched's industry's unwillingness to compete in the marketplace against new services and business models.
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