A second Federal Communications Commission Democrat voted against Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s plan to buy XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., leaving the merger's fate to the sole undecided Republican.
Democrat Jonathan Adelstein, who voted against the $3.5 billion merger today, said in an e-mailed statement that the combination would create ``a monopoly with window dressing.'' Fellow Democrat Michael Copps already voted no.
Two Republican commissioners, Chairman Kevin Martin and Robert McDowell, have backed the merger, leaving the outcome to the agency's fifth member, Deborah Taylor Tate, a Republican who has yet to vote. A telephone call to her office wasn't returned. Reuters reported Tate is nearing a ``yes'' vote, without saying where it got the information.
``Commissioner Adelstein would only cast a dissenting vote once it was fairly clear that Commissioner Tate would support the deal,'' Paul Gallant, a former FCC official and Washington- based analyst with Stanford Washington Research Group, said in an interview. He continues to predict approval.
Commissioners, who face no deadline for a decision, vote electronically at the time of their choosing.
Traditional radio companies led by the National Association of Broadcasters oppose the merger, saying it will create a harmful monopoly. Sirius and XM, the only two pay-radio companies, told regulators their union would bring consumers more programming at a lower cost.
``a monopoly with window dressing?'' These are pay services... I don't understand what the squib is all about!