SEATTLE, Washington - The seventeen-month hostage crisis otherwise known as the XM/Sirius merger approval is finally over. Piles and piles of silly rhetoric were spilled by opponents of the merger over that time, the most annoying of which involved assertions that the merger was not in the "public interest". Anytime you saw someone raise the specter of the "public interest", you knew one thing for sure: their complaint had nothing to to with the "public interest". Bryan Caplan at EconLog captured the spirit of this when discussing the price freeze and 24-noncommercial-channels mandate:
Yes, that's right. A price freeze for firms that are losing so much money they still might go bankrupt. And a legal requirement to carry a bunch of stations hardly anyone wants. It's a classic case of Orwellian "pro-consumer" regs that discourage innovation and equate "the public interest" with "that which does not interest the public."
One of the most odious "public interest" hucksters was Georgetown Partners, a minority-owned equity firm with broadcasting interests that viciously lobbied that a condition of the merger should be (brace yourself) a requirement that 20% of SIRI/XM's spectrum be forcibly leased to a minority broadcaster. All in the public interest, of course.
Georgetown Partners: Launch your own fucking satellites.