updated 02:25 pm EDT, Fri June 20, 2008
Sirius XM on FCC Slate
The Federal Communications Commission has quietly put the proposed merger between Sirius and XM on its Items on Circulation list. The move indicates that at least a draft proposal for the satellite radio union will be discussed by the FCC and that a final decision on the merger could be made shortly after FCC commissioners discuss the draft. The government agency recently hinted at increased progress earlier this week when it proposed approval of the deal as long as conditions are honored for a-la-carte pricing and channels dedicated to certain public interest groups.
The circulation list doesn't provide clues as to the earliest date for a possible merger, though FCC chairman Kevin Martin has previously said he hopes the merger could be completed by the end of June. XM in turn has suggested that the spring quarter, which ends at the same time, will be the last before approval.
The Sirius/XM merger is one of the longest-delayed mergers on record and has in part been delayed by objections to the merger from traditional land-based radio broadcasters and HD Radio creator iBiquity Digital, both of whom claim that the deal would constitute a monopoly and at one point suggested that the FCC require an HD Radio tuner be included with each satellite radio. [via Orbitcast]