This excerpt taken from the SIRI 8-K filed Mar 21, 2007.
C. The Merger Will Help Accelerate Deployment of Advanced Technology.
The combined company will be able to offer consumers access to advanced technology sooner than would otherwise occur. The efficiencies gained from the merger, including the marriage of the two engineering organizations, will ensure better results from each dollar invested in research and development. As a consequence, the combined company will be able to improve on products such as real-time traffic and rear-seat video.35 In addition, the combined
34 See Letter from Carl R. Frank, Counsel to Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, EB Docket No. 04-296 (filed Aug. 23, 2006); Letter from David S. Konczal, Counsel to XM Satellite Radio Inc. to Marlene H. Dortch, Secretary, Federal Communications Commission, EB Docket No. 04-296, at Attachment (filed Sept. 12, 2006).
35 As a result of the merger, consumers also will be able to choose between a wider range of low cost, easy-to-use, multi-functional devices because of efficiencies in chip set and radio design and procurement. See, e.g., GM-News Corp. Order, 19 FCC Rcd at 610 (¶ 316) (noting that the FCC will consider development of new products in its public interest analysis).
company will be able to introduce new services, such as advanced data and telematics services; including enhanced traffic, weather, and infotainment offerings; more rapidly and with greater capabilities through a combined research and development effort. The common engineering standards and protocols which would come from a combined effort will accelerate the involvement of third party manufacturers and technology partners in developing and offering innovative devices and services. These benefits would not be possible absent the proposed transaction.D. The Merged Company Will Be Capable of Commercializing Interoperable Receivers, Providing Greater Customer Choice and Convenience.
Today, XM and Sirius have approximately 20 million radios in the market, including millions built into vehicles manufactured by automakers. This merger will neither interrupt nor affect customers use of these existing radios. After the merger, current subscribers may choose to continue to receive substantially similar service at the same price over their existing satellite radio. No customer will need to purchase a new radio in order to keep substantially similar service.
However, the merger will also foster the commercial introduction of interoperable satellite radios. In originally implementing rules for the satellite radio service, the Commission required the companies to develop designs for a radio capable of receiving the signal of either system.36 In accordance with this requirement, Sirius and XM created a jointly funded engineering team that has developed a radio that is interoperable with each others networks.37
37 See Letter from William Bailey, Senior Vice President, Regulatory and Government Affairs, XM Radio, Inc. and Patrick Donnelly, Executive Vice President and General Counsel,
These interoperable radios are currently larger, consume more power, and are more expensive and less feature rich than the current single-system radios. There is also little incentive for either company to subsidize the cost of interoperable radios, because of uncertainty whether the subsidy would be recouped since the buyer might not subscribe to that companys service. Because of these limitations, manufacturers have not expressed an interest in producing and distributing these radios, nor have any automobile manufacturers opted to include these radios in their vehicles.
As a practical matter, the merger will improve this situation. After the transaction is consummated, the marketplace itself will provide economic incentives to encourage further innovation and the subsidization and commercial distribution of interoperable radios. With appropriate subsidies to lower the costs, radio manufacturers would likely shift some amount of production, consistent with customer demand, to fabricating radios that tune to all channels of the combined service. Indeed, over the long run, such radios will enable the combined company to offer significantly enhanced content and services. Thus, the merger will enhance the availability and distribution of interoperable equipment allowing consumers to obtain all of the content available on both systems with a single consumer device.
The proposed merger will allow Sirius and XM to achieve large-scale operational efficiencies and will ensure that satellite radio continues to be a viable competitor in the market for audio entertainment services. In 2006, the two companies incurred total costs of approximately $3.4 billion, the vast majority of which was associated with the operation, depreciation, and management of the companies infrastructure and cost of acquiring new subscribers. Efficiencies from the proposed merger can be identified in every cost category of the income statement. Importantly, operating expense savings can be passed on to subscribers in the form of lower subscription rates.
First, the merged company will be able to create its commercial-free music channels with the combined efforts of the respective programming staffs and eventually reduce duplicative programming expenses while continuing to offer subscribers a broad selection of music, talk, sports, and entertainment content that they have received in the past.
Second, the merged company will be able to reduce operational expenses for infrastructure used to broadcast and transmit satellite radio programming. Today, both Applicants maintain distinct broadcast operations infrastructure to facilitate the scheduling, storage, compression, transmission, and uplink of programming and content to the Applicants satellites and terrestrial repeater networks.
Third, one of the largest expense items for each company is the ongoing marketing and subscriber acquisition costs associated with gaining new customers, growing the subscriber base, and increasing brand awareness. The merged company will enjoy the efficiencies of combined advertising and marketing campaigns as well as a unified set of product offerings with lower per unit manufacturing costs due to larger scale production that should ultimately result in lower
product prices for end consumers. In addition, the merged company will be able to focus marketing dollars not simply to drive brand awareness, but also to reduce consumer confusion over what satellite radio offers and to more effectively distinguish satellite radio from other competitive audio entertainment services.
Fourth, the Applicants will be able to accelerate innovation while reducing the cost of research and development efforts required to supply products and services in the retail and automotive distribution channels. The proposed merger will enhance innovation, and reduce the cost of duplicative research and development efforts that would otherwise be necessary to ensure the Applicants remain competitive in the market for audio entertainment services. Finally, the Applicants will be able to achieve operating efficiencies by reducing duplicative General & Administrative expense.
Analysts predict that these and other combined synergies will save the merged company $200-400 million per year in the near term,38 and several billion dollars over the long term.39 As noted above, significant portions of these savings will be shared with customers immediately and in the long-term through lower prices and improved service offerings. In addition to eliminating duplicative operating expenses as outlined, the merger will also allow the Applicants to operate
39 Sirius Satellite Radio, And then there was one, MERRILL LYNCH, Feb. 20, 2007, at 3 ([o]ver the next 10 years, we believe MergeCo could have a present value of future cost synergies of $4.3 bb); Consolidation of SIRI and XM Announced, UBS INVESTMENT RESEARCH, Feb. 20, 2007, at 1 (noting that long-term cost synergies could range from $3 to $4.7 billion).
more effectively by adopting the best and most efficient practices of the two companies based on each Applicants core competencies.40
The proposed merger will also preserve and expand an FCC success story. The efficiencies from combining these two companies will produce a stronger, more stable competitor in the audio entertainment market. Satellite radio is a capital-intensive and expensive business given the significant cost of designing, launching, and operating satellites, and the significant investment each Applicant has made to design chipsets and encourage their distribution, to market their brands, and to create compelling programming for subscribers. Sirius and XM each have invested over $1 billion in their initial in-orbit constellations and over $5 billion each in their business overall and continue to report significant operating losses, including reported net losses of $1.1 billion (Sirius) and $719 million (XM) in 2006.41 The vast preponderance of each companys annual expense is associated with the operation, depreciation, and management of its infrastructure and cost of acquiring new subscribers. Both providers must
41 Sirius and XM have generated total cumulative net losses of $3.8 billion and $3.5 billion, respectively, from inception through December 31, 2006. See Sirius Satellite Radio Inc., 2006 Form 10-K Annual Report, at 26 (filed Mar. 1, 2007), at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/908937/000093041307001865/c47044_10k.htm (last visited Mar. 17, 2007); XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc., 2006 Form 10-K Annual Report, at 32 (filed Mar. 1, 2007), at http://www.sec.gov/Archives/edgar/data/1091530/000119312507044379/d10k.htm (last visited Mar. 17, 2007).
continue to maintain and update this infrastructure and fund replacement spacecraft before the current satellites end of life.42
Such an advanced, next-generation system will be facilitated by the combined entitys increased scale, expertise, and resources. Post merger, the best minds from both companies will be able to cooperate on research and development and technical issues. Moreover, the proposed merger will enable the combined company to achieve efficiencies in the near term through an integrated system sparing plan and in the longer term through the coordination of satellite architecture and procurements. Further, as a more viable competitor in the audio entertainment market, the combined company will have improved access to the capital markets, thereby ensuring that consumers can continue to count on state-of-the-art technology providing even greater choice and flexibility.