updated 04:00 pm EDT, Fri May 23, 2008
FCC on Sirius XM in June
The Federal Communications Commission's chairman Kevin Martin today said he still considers it possible to approve the proposed Sirius/XM merger by the end of the spring, according to Orbitcast. The agency chief hints at progress and says that a report has been completed that outlines likely fairness limits on the merger between the two satellite radio providers. The other FCC commissioners will need to view the the report before a deal can move further, Martin says.
Nonetheless, the chairman warns that the FCC won't be discussing the merger at the organization's next meeting on June 12th, pushing any possible approval to outside of the springtime window without absolute consent.
The merger between Sirius and XM has been one of the longest-delayed on record at the FCC, having been proposed in early 2007 but still lacking FCC approval despite DOJ approval in March, which by many has been considered the most important hurdle to overcome for the merger. The FCC hasn't explained the discrepancy, although the delay is believed to have its roots in fears of a satellite radio monopoly that would make it difficult for terrestrial radio to offer a viable alternative.