[opendtv] Re: Automakers Oppose HD Radio Requirement

  • From: "Manfredi, Albert E" <albert.e.manfredi@xxxxxxxxxx>
  • To: <opendtv@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 15 Jul 2008 16:12:16 -0400

> In the face of anti-competitive practices like this, I find it
> hard to become indignant about some counterbalancing govt
> mandate.

These items from Wikipedia might shed some light on the "consipracy."



June: Clear Channel Communications, DirecTV, General Motors, and a
private investment group invest US$250 million in XM Satellite Radio
convertible debt. Both Clear Channel and DirecTV agree to develop
services for XM.

June 7: with GM's investment in XM, they enter into a 12-year
"Distribution Agreement" between XM and GM subsdiary, OnStar
Corporation. The agreement calls for exclusive installation of XM
Satellite Radio into GM vehicles from November 12, 2001 until November
2013. OnStar must meet specific escalating installation rates each year,
while XM must make extensive payments to OnStar for the installation and
sale of XM in their vehicles, while sharing revenue earned from these
radios with OnStar - as well as payments on the exclusivity agreement.

[ ... ]

The XM signal uses 12.5 MHz of the S band: 2332.5 to 2345.0 MHz. XM
provides 128 kilobits per second of its bandwidth to OnStar Corporation
for use with XM-enabled GM vehicles, regardless of whether their owners
are XM subscribers. American Honda also retains the right to some of the
company's bandwidth to transmit messages to Acura vehicles via a service
known as AcuraLink.

[ ... ]

Controlling interest

The company's May 2004 proxy statement[23] notes that four directors are
subject to director designation agreements with GM, American Honda, the
chairman, and the CEO. Four additional directors are investors, and two
are not affiliated with any significant stockholders.

At that time, GM owned 8.6% of the Class A common stock (a voting
percentage of less than 1%) and Honda owned 13% (with a voting
percentage of 3.6%).

Unless they unanimously agree otherwise, control of the company remains
with the preferred shareholder and noteholders of the company, including
Hughes Electronics, GM, Honda, and several private investment groups.

Now, I take this "exclusive" to be mostly with respect to Sirius, rather
than HD Radio, but that's just a guess. Whatever the answer, GM has made
OnStar standard on all its vehicles now ("OnStar will be standard in the
full range of GM retail cars, trucks, and SUVs in the United States and
Canada by 2007,"
http://www.onstar.com/us_english/jsp/explore/get_onstar.jsp), so it has
a good incentive to propagate XM Radio as well.

And conversely, not to install competing systems?

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