updated 01:45 pm EDT, Wed July 9, 2008
FCC Clearing for Sirius XM
The FCC is telling XM Satellite Radio to clear its schedule for what could be a potential deal, says a report from Orbitcast. XM's legal counsel has allegedly been told by the US government agency to have all hands available for the rest of July and thus hints that the FCC is under pressure to decide quickly on the proposed merger between Sirius and XM within the next two weeks.
Signs from the government have increasingly pointed to the FCC hoping to hasten either approving or denying the union of the two satellite radio stations. The federal body has just recently put the Sirius/XM merger on its circulation slate, while XM has said it has reason to believe the long-delayed merger will be approved in the summer. The Department of Justice has already approved the deal from a legal perspective.
Sirius and XM first offered the merger in early 2007 as an attempt to shore up their successful but financially struggling satellite radio businesses as well as to create a stronger alternative to land-based radio. Critics that include non-satellite radio have charged that a single satellite provider would constitute a monopoly and lock HD Radio or other competing services out of car stereos and other audio equipment.