XM, Sirius Extend Merger Agreement Until May 1
Satellite-Radio Merger Still Awaiting Approval from Department of Justice, Federal Communications Commission
By John Eggerton -- Broadcasting & Cable, 2/29/2008 10:58:00 AM
XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio extended their merger agreement until May 1, agreeing not to exercise their right to terminate the deal.
There had been a March 1 trigger for unwinding the proposal if it had not received an OK from the Justice Department or the Federal Communications Commission, neither of which have finished their review.
Justice is expected to weigh in first, but FCC chairman Kevin Martin said recently that he expected the commission to be done with its review by the end of March. Martin said the same thing about the Liberty Media-DirecTV deal, and the agency was able to beat that deadline by one month.
The FCC has been considering the merger, which has been strongly opposed by terrestrial broadcasters, for 266 days. It set itself a 180-day shot clock for merger reviews, but that is informal and the commission has frequently missed that mark.
The key issue appears to be whether or not the satellite-radio marketplace is its own separate entity -- XM and Sirius are the only national license holders -- or part of a larger audio marketplace that includes terrestrial radio, cable radio, Internet radio and downloads.
I heard an arguement that Clear Channel is trying to block this merger. Clear Channel has an investor with ties to Mitt Romney and the Republican Party. Well, they certainly can't help spread the "word of Mitt" so that investment went to the wayside, but the Republicans can sure pull their weight around and force their hand with the FCC to get them to deny the merger. There have been 4 hearings on this merger. FOUR. And it's for radio. You'd think they were discussing the nations food supply or something. The Exxon/Mobil merger which created the largest company on the planet and may have had the most far reaching consequences for consumers had one hearing in 1999. ONE. Radio doesn't deserve this kind of scrutiny. Traditional radio is going to go down, with or without this merger. So get out of the way.
Brian Harder - 3/3/2008 2:46:00 PM EST
Some how xm didn't want to give up Nascar, which they did. The GHz Frequencies are not the same, and subs 9 million listeners will have to buy new sat-rad unit's. And who pay's for these receiver's? The ticked off subscriber's. If you do it to 9 million, then your doing it to another 9 million. Taking this long, appeals to be bad and good for those. xm president Hugh Panero and Kid Fox of Sirius our scum bags, selling out to there reliable listeners on sat-rad. What the FCC dislike's is realizing Canadian listeners, will more so ticked off. I Geuss, there sould not be any merger. My point is there should not be a merger and no inconvenice to our subscriber here in the U.S. OR CANADA.
TOM/Bakersfield, California - 2/29/2008 9:28:00 PM EST
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