When I was younger, I remember being dragged to the circus a few times by my parents. "The Greatest Show On Earth!" was how it was touted, but yet it seems like every time I went, I was treated to a long car ride, a bunch of obnoxious clowns, people flying through the air everywhere in mass confusion, and an elephant relieving himself in the middle of a ring.
Then I was treated to a long ride home so that on the way I could ponder why I had to be subjected to all of that nonsense. I'd have preferred a few video games, or an afternoon in the woods with friends building "forts" and playing with fireworks.
I have the same feeling right now as a Sirius XM (NASDAQ:SIRI) investor. Today, the FCC has filed seeking public comment on Liberty Media's (NASDAQ:LMCA) request for de jure control of Sirius XM. The first thought to run through my head? "Ugh..."
I understand that this has to be done, and I understand it's simply part of procedure, but I also understand that this will, in essence, bring the circus to town for Sirius XM and Liberty Media investors. Why? One has only to look at the Sirius and XM merger from years ago. What should have been a swift process was dragged out for far too long, as what seemed like every single special interest group on the planet wanted to be heard, and was opposed to, the merger of the two companies. Consider my comment from an article earlier today, as Seeking Alpha user hansa15 posted the news of the FCC submission:
Hansa15 stated :
"Looks like FCC finally made an announcement. Anyone against the merger has until November 1st to file their initial petition... "
And my reply :
"Prepare to laugh as organizations you never knew existed come out of the woodwork and appear out of thin air to claim they are standing up for *you* the consumer, as they march forward hands out and money bags open!!"
And that's exactly what will happen this time. You'll see such possible groups as "Mother's United For Social Advancement of Minority Firefighter's Daughters" claiming that such a transfer of control would cause undue harm to the public, and if they were merely granted a channel or at least some cash in the deal, then perhaps they could support it. It all boils down to "give us something and we'll go away." So predictable. So boring.
So pathetic. It's like clowns dancing around in front of you, scaring your children while your wallet is $150 lighter for the trouble.
It's also inevitable. As investors, you'll be dragged like children to the circus, whether you like it or not. You'll have to endure every single act, whether you like it or not. Just remember, it's only a matter of time before this circus is over. "The greatest show on earth" does have a finite duration.
The most important thing to keep in mind? Despite the comments and opposition soon to come through the pipeline, there really is no reason for the FCC to deny Liberty's application at this point in time. It's simply a change of control, and not a merger of entities as before with Sirius and XM. What could possibly be the arguments against Liberty's submission? How could consumers be hurt by this?
It's doubtful that they would be. Tune out the noise. Better yet, throw on a pair of Bose noise canceling headphones, tune into Sirius XM, and shut your eyes. You won't be missing anything. Hold on to your investment and ignore the circus. They'll wake you up when this is all over, and life can return to the usual.
Liberty will have control when you wake up, and share buybacks will be next on the plate, which should be much more exciting for investors! Buy, tune out the noise, and hold. It's worked so well over the years, and will continue to work well as the company continues to exceed expectations.