FCC Approves XM-Sirius Merger; 3-2 Vote

This story was written by Rafat Ali.
The 16 month merger drama has ended: the FCC has approved Sirius Satellite Radio's (NSDQ: SIRI) $3.6 billion buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio (NSDQ: XMSR), which means that there will only be one sat radio operator in the country now, with 18 million-plus subscribers. The vote was 3-2 in favor, and as expected, Republican commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate cast the tie-breaking vote to approve the merger. Conditions on the approval included a series of consumer protection conditions, including a three-year cap on prices, setting aside 8 percent of their channel capacity for minority and non-commercial programming and payment of a $19.7 million penalty for past FCC rule violations, reports Reuters.

By Rafat Ali