updated 01:40 pm EST, Fri February 29, 2008
SIRIUS XM Extend Deal
SIRIUS and XM today said they would extend their merger agreement, ensuring that the union of the two satellite radio providers remains on the table. The extension prevents an existing deal from ending in March and bars either company from voluntarily backing out of the proposed merger between the two networks until May 1st. Neither company has revealed whether it will remain committed to the merger if the new agreement expires before official approval from both the Department of Justice and the FCC.
The delay in uniting the two satellite services is already regarded as unprecedented in the market, as the deal was originally proposed roughly a year ago but has not seen any US federal body rule on its legality since it became public. The merger has been hotly contested by traditional radio sources, many of whom claim that a merged Sirius-XM would constitute a monopoly or else make it difficult for terrestrial radio to compete. Both Sirius and XM have claimed that they compete both against multiple radio formats but also portable media players and other digital forms of music.