XM and Siruis Satellite Radio have scheduled tandem shareholders meetings for Nov. 13 to vote on their proposed merger. XM's meeting will be in Washington; Sirius's meeting will be in New York.
Neither the Federal Communications Commission nor the Justice Department has approved the merger, which would create a single satellite-radio company and combine satellite licenses the FCC initially indicated should not be held by one owner.
But the companies -- which argued that an XM-Sirius combination would create a stronger competitor in a crowded audio market -- vowed that they will get the OK and want to have that shareholder approval teed up so that the deal can move quickly after a decision in its favor.
"The stockholders' meeting represents another step forward in the process," XM spokesman Nathaniel Brown said. "We expect the shareholders to approve the deal, and we expect government approval by the end of the year."
The FCC's informal shot clock for ruling on the deal expires in early December (Thursday was day 118), and FCC chairman Kevin Martin said the commission wants to hit that mark, as it tries to does with all of its mergers (although not always with success, as the Adelphia breakup suggests).