This column was originally published on RealMoney on March 21 at 12:11 p.m. EDT. It's being republished as a bonus for TheStreet.com readers. For more information about subscribing to RealMoney, please click here.

What happens if the government doesn't let

Sirius

(SIRI) - Get Report

merge with

XM Satellite

( XMSR)?

I believe the two will continue to battle it out until one guy's belly-up.

Whoever is left standing will then be able to raise rates and cut what it pays for talent. It will be a huge win for the one left standing, even if by then the stock is appreciably lower from the bleed-out. And it will be a huge loser for the consumer.

As Mel Karmazin pushes on his tour to get this deal done, I keep wondering whether he should be arguing this case. It's a devastating case to make when it comes to current shareholders of both companies. It can hurt XM more than Sirius, drive it lower, because in a lot of ways XM is doing worse than Sirius.

But ultimately it's a heck of a better case than the promises that he has made to keep prices stable, which no one really believes.

This is a business with ultra-high barriers to entry and high costs that no one else really wants to get into. Everyone who liked it initially has been pancaked, and everyone who wants it now can't buy it with the uncertainty.

Yet it continues to hold a fascination for the public that is exceeded

only

by the public's endless unrequited love affair with tech.

Until you know this deal is going through, you can't own the stock. If it doesn't go through, you have two goners.

But you have the end result of the government's meddling in what would be a better deal than the consumers will ultimately get.

Random musings:

Lots of people in Texas were asking me how I could be so negative on

Hercules Offshore

(HERO)

now that it's getting

Todco

( THE). Understand that I have been predicting willy-nilly takeovers in the sector that would create better pricing. But I am not going to recommend the acquirer of a company when 1) the arbitrage pressure is great against the stock and 2) there is dreaded Gulf drilling exposure, when

Transocean

(RIG) - Get Report

and

GlobalSantaFe

(GSF)

don't have it. ...

Linens 'N Things

buyout woes for Apollo make a logical private-equity buyout of

Bed Bath & Beyond

(BBBY) - Get Report

-- the hope of lots of shareholders -- less likely. ...

AT&T

(T) - Get Report

has become a go-to stock for those who think the

Fed's

going to push us into a recession. Good defensive name, although I like

Heinz

(HNZ)

better. ...

Fortress

(FIG)

is run by a terrific guy from

Merrill

who really understands fixed-income, particularly mortgage backs. Look for him to start taking advantage of the sickened companies in the industry.

At the time of publication, Cramer was long Transocean.

Jim Cramer is a director and co-founder of TheStreet.com. He contributes daily market commentary for TheStreet.com's sites and serves as an adviser to the company's CEO. Outside contributing columnists for TheStreet.com and RealMoney.com, including Cramer, may, from time to time, write about stocks in which they have a position. In such cases, appropriate disclosure is made. To see his personal portfolio and find out what trades Cramer will make before he makes them, sign up for

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