FCC chairman says XM-Sirius merger possible by June 30

| 5/27/2008

The chairman of the U.S. Federal Communications Commission believes a proposal by XM and Sirius to merge could receive commission approval by June 30.

Chairman Kevin Martin of the FCC told reporters on Friday, May 23, that approval of the merger was possible by the end of June, as reported by Bloomberg.

FCC officials, however, did not place the proposed XM-Sirius merger on the latest docket of cases for review on June 12.

FCC spokesman Robert Kenny told Land Line on Tuesday, May 27, that the proposed transaction remains under review. Kenny declined to speculate about when the proposed merger might be approved.

Officials from XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio first agreed to a “merger of equals” in February 2007, hoping to create one company worth $13 billion.

The U.S. Department of Justice closed its investigation into the proposal in March, saying a merger would not violate competition laws.

A merger would not affect subscribers at all for a while. Eventually, a merger would affect subscribers who would like to have both signals. According to Justice Department officials, existing equipment for either XM or Sirius cannot be modified to receive the other provider’s service. Officials say an interoperable device that receives both signals is still years in the making.

– By David Tanner, staff writer