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XM-Sirius Merger Decision Could Come Today

The five members of the Federal Communications Commission are at a split 2-2 vote on the merger of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio with Commissioner Jonathan Adelstein announcing today his vote against the union. That leaves just Republican Commissioner, Deborah Tate, to decide whether the companies can create a monopoly in paid satellite radio.

Republicans Kevin Martin and Robert McDowell have voted in favor of the merger. Democrats Michael Copps and Adelstein have voted against.

The agency is expected to approve the merger and a decision could come as early as today on the XM-Sirius merger, according to an official at the FCC. The source, who spoke on the condition of anonymity because merger review is ongoing, said Chairman Martin is preparing to fine the satellite radio operators for failing to abide by rules to offer interoperable radios for their technologies. That enforcement action has been a condition pushed by Tate.

By Cecilia Kang  |  July 23, 2008; 2:00 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
Previous: Digital TV Transition: Lost in Translation? | Next: Scrabulous Saga Continues

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Looks like no forced inclusion of HD Radio in SDARS receivers - that was HD Radio's last gasp:

Posted by: PocketRadio | July 23, 2008 3:07 PM

2 words:

Howard Stern

Posted by: Burg w/ a U | July 23, 2008 3:13 PM

the FCC is a joke, ExxonMobile took less time. All the members are on the take. What a scam

Posted by: Free enterprise | July 23, 2008 3:16 PM

This whole approval process needs to be included in the next editions of high school Civics text books. What an eye-opener to the reality of how the US Govt operates in 2008...

Posted by: Steve | July 23, 2008 3:29 PM

Approval will be at the expense of the consumer. if not in immediate fees, certainly in worse customer support.

Actually, with XM customer support could hardly get any worse.

XM's sales tactics have fallen to such a level that it is using Bait and Switch tactics.

The customer support techs at XM are now telling out-and-out lies trying to hook the subscribers into even more costly investments as 'solutions' to the problems which they are calling about.

Did Sirius look closely at XM before they got into this? Do they really want to bring themselves down to XM's level?

R.I.P. XM - A good product with the absolute worst support you can imagine!

Another innovative idea ruined by managers who care only about initial sales, and not about their customers.

Caveat emptor!

Posted by: Nor'Easter | July 23, 2008 3:50 PM

It's absurd how long this has taken. But, what would you expect when the same law firm that represents all the big radio & TV corps that are against this merger also represents Sirius in this effort and the FCC is filled with former attorneys and staff of the same firm including the Commissioner who is a former associate of the same firm. There ought to be a law. . .

Posted by: noname | July 23, 2008 4:04 PM

The XM and Sirius radio systems are both satellite based, but are are totally different in orbits and operation. A single receiver for both is not practical. The FCC is completely distracted by the mandated conversion to digital TV, which has a lot of lower-income people mystified. Kevin Martin is a political hack who knows nothing about broadcasting, he should be ejected from the game.

Posted by: Bill | July 23, 2008 6:52 PM

Ms. Kang, I would hardly call this merger a monopoly. Sirius/XM are a music median that is in competition with ipods, cd's, free radio, HD radio etc... Congrats on your pessimistic tactics to persuade readers to hope Tate is against the merger. Points about Mobil Exxon and other companies have mergers in less time are very valid points. The consumer has the chance to win with the merger, more music options and harder working R&D. Also, entertainment is being told that they can be signed after a merger decision has been decided. This can benefit the consumer who is not forced to purchase it.

Posted by: Paul | July 23, 2008 7:16 PM

i love howard. if this merger keeps him on the air, uncensored, so be it. the rest of you ppl, stop kvetching and get your sirius receiver. it's about time you learned to enjoy life.

what would we do without howie and robin and artie and george, not to mention all the guests who flock to his show? we'd be stuck with that sore excuse for entertainment and news they call terrestrial radio. wake up america. it's time to live.

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