[opendtv] Automakers Oppose HD Radio Requirement

  • From: Craig Birkmaier <craig@xxxxxxxxx>
  • To: OpenDTV Mail List <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 07:06:47 -0400


Automakers Oppose HD Radio Requirement

WASHINGTON -- July 14, 2008: General Motors Corp. and Toyota Motor Sales USA have jointly written to the FCC to oppose proposals that HD Radio capability be required in all future satellite radio receivers if XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio are allowed to merge.

HD Radio developer iBiquity first raised the suggestion late last year, and Clear Channel echoed the idea in its own proposed merger requirements back in March. Since then, lawmakers have also begun to push for an HD Radio requirement.

GM and Toyota write in their filing, "The proponents of the proposed condition are seeking an unprecedented requirement regulating the choice of entertainment technologies in an automotive environment."

They note that "HD is already penetrating the automotive sector without a mandate" -- Ford and others have agreements to install HD Radio in current or upcoming models -- and say, "Nothing in our companies' respective agreements with XM inhibits our ability to offer HD Radio."

GM and Toyota say that in a competitive environment, automakers will offer HD if consumers continue to show an interest, and add that, if HD is required, "the holders of the intellectual property for HD would have no incentive to be fully responsive to the demands of the marketplace."

The letter goes on, "While HD Radio is successfully penetrating the marketplace, it is nevertheless still an evolving technology. Any mandate will inherently distort the normal incentives to cost reduce and further improve the HD product offering."

Consumer electronics manufacturer Pioneer North America, a leading maker of satellite receivers, has also expressed its opposition to an HD Radio requirement.

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