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Sirius/XM merger down to one vote

updated 02:50 pm EDT, Tue July 22, 2008

Sirius XM Down to One Vote

A final approval or rejection of the proposed merger between satellite radio providers Sirius and XM now hinges on a single vote at the Federal Communications Commission, one official tells the Wall Street Journal. With the decision by Commissioner Michael Copps to vote against the merger and fellow official Jonathan Adelstein still ambivalent and demanding certain conditions, just Commissioner Deborah Tate remains undecided. Her approval would be enough to guarantee a merger but could potentialy shoot down the merger as-is if Adelstein isn't swayed in favor of the deal.

A large part of the objection raised by Adelstein and critics points would argue that the combined Sirius and XM wouldn't set enough channels aside for public groups and minority-owned companies; they also seek price caps on subscriptions for as long as six years to prevent any unnecessary cost hikes, which some would fear as inevitable once there was no longer another satellite radio station to beat.

Adelstein, however, is said to without pressure from outside forces for his own vote, suggesting that Sirius and XM may accept his conditions.

FCC chairman Kevin Martin and observers both anticpate the merger being approved during the summer and as early as this month, which should eventually lead to a single network format for satellite radio receivers.

by MacNN Staff




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