The End of a Good Thing – XM and Sirius Merge

My favorite service disappeared today.  XM and Sirius have merged creating Sirius XM.  The Justice Department has indicated that the merger would not harm competition, er the consumer.  We effectively no longer have competition so we’ll have to cross our fingers on this statement. Engadget has the full announcement.

I am concerned.  My cable provider provides an almost weekly lesson in how the lack of competition creates a poor service provider.  This statement on Washington Business Journal is supposed to help me feel better.  It accomplishes the exact opposite:

Subscribers will also now have the option to pick from different packages of channels, known as a la carte programming.

My belief is that in a year’s time I will have the privilige of spending more to get less.  A la carte pricing = nickel and diming.

I ran across a few more quotes I’d like to add to my bonfire of disgruntlement…

He said the review showed that, because XM and Sirius equipment was not compatible, subscribers rarely shifted from one system to the other in their homes or cars; a switch could be expensive and time-consuming.

“Historically, once you choose one or the other of the audio services, you’re not going to switch,” he said. “A price switch is not going to cause you to jump to the other services.”

That rationale could be used to support a merger of any two competing yet dissimilar technologies. Do you suppose we’ll be asked to accept a merger of DSL and cable providers any time soon. It’s about the same exercise switching a satellite receiver and a modem. Right?

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