In a Jan. 20 filing, Sirius XM Radio Inc., the U.S. satellite radio broadcaster, asked the Federal Communications Commission not to extend a price freeze negotiated as part of the 2008 merger that created the company.
Sirius, which claimed to have 19.8 million customers at the end of the third quarter, said that it wants to be able to increase its basic monthly subscription price from $12.95. Headquartered in New York, Sirius was formed when Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. bought XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc.
Sirius didn’t actually indicate in the filing whether it wants to raise rates. In the FCC filing, Sirius said that it has agreed with XM to maintain the basic subscription price for three years after the closing of their merger, the anniversary of which falls on July 28.
Sirius is requesting the agency not to make any steps to extend or modify the rate cap.
Sirius asserts that it is competing in a “robustly” market with consumers who can opt for terrestrial radio and Internet music services such as Pandora and Rhapsody, while automakers such as Toyota Motor Corp. and Ford Motor Co. are offering more ways for consumers to access Web-based entertainment in their cars.
In an interview, Janice Wise, a spokeswoman for the agency's media bureau, said that the FCC is reviewing the request. [via autonews - sub. required]