By Dave Zornow
New York — July 28, 2013: Google (GOOG) announced that they will acquire the assets of the bankrupt satellite radio company, Sirius-XM. That company was formed almost five years ago when the FCC approved the merger of the original companies at the end of July 2008.
Rumors of the acquisition have swirled for months, with the most recent tease being posted on the Google blog last Thursday. “Something big is in the offing. Look to the skies!”
Analysts have been predicting that Google would seek a telecomm partner to expand the reach of its Android cell phone operating system offering more bandwidth than carriers like Sprint, VerATTizon (formed by the October 2010 merger of Verizon and ATT) and Microsoft (whose acquisition of COMCAST is still pending). Google is expected to make an announcement of their Android upgrade, which will include 10 MBit speed, 100 audio and video channels and free calls within North America. The new ad supported service will show ads related to the content of each consumer’s call on the Android receivers Hi-Def 6 inch wide letterbox screen.
In their five year history, Sirius-XM was never able to dig out of the regulatory hole dug for them by the second Bush Administration’s FCC and Justice departments despite generous incentives and creative promotions. In 2009, Sirius-XM offered 10 free ad-suporrted channel to woo back subscribers who had equipment pre-installed in their cars but who had cancelled their satellite subscriptions. Despite high profile entertainment events and celebrity tie-ins, but merged service never took off. “It’s an iPod, iPhone entertainment universe,” said analysts Geoff Gadfly of Schenectady-Sasquatch Consulting. “Why would someone want to pay for satellite radio when they have all of those features on their iDevice?