Consumer group against XM/Sirius merger is a sham

This one’s getting a lot of play in the news today with headlines like this: “Consumer group attacks XM/Sirius.”

Except for one thing.

This is no “consumer group.”

The American Consumer Institute says that as the debate on whether or not the pending merger of DARS providers XM and Sirius “meanders in and out of meaningless distinctions and political rhetoric,” it is important to remember that it turns a distinct duopoly into a monopoly.

Well, it turns out that the “American Consumer Institute” is…

…an amalgamation of think tank reps pushing a free market ideological agenda under the guise of consumer advocacy. A quick WhoIS notes that the ACI website is registered to Stephen Pociask, a telecom consultant and former chief economist for Bell Atlantic, who via groups like the Competitive Enterprise Institute, works to shape data that argues against government regulation of industry.

And what is the Competitive Enterprise Institute?

It is…

…a non-profit public policy organization founded in 1984 by Fred Smith. CEI’s stated belief is that consumers are best helped not by government regulation of commercial interests, but by consumers being allowed to make their own choices in a free marketplace.

So this is a group that represents free enterprise without government intervention, not consumers. They speak in no way, shape, or form for consumers.

Perhaps the radio trades should learn to read Google searches as well as they read press releases.

There are plenty of valid points to be made against a Sirius/XM merger. But I prefer the honest ones to the dishonest ones.

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