March 24, 2008 by Arlen Schweiger
Are we ready for Sirius XM?
The U.S. Justice Department on Monday approved Sirius Satellite Radio’s $5 billion (only slightly more than Howard Stern’s astronomical Sirius contract) buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio, the AP is reporting. With the Justice Department’s decision coming more than a year after the merger was announced, the next OK must come from the Federal Communications Commission.
Shareholders had approved the buyout back in November. Opposition from consumer groups and terrestrial radio lobbying had grown fierce. According to the Justice Department, the buyout was not expected to hurt either group so they gave it the go-ahead.
Chalk it up not as a monopoly of satellite radio, but as another form of entertainment competing against traditional radio and the ever-growing amount of mobile broadband Internet devices, the Justice Department said, which makes the deal unlikely to “harm consumers in the longer term.”
Rather, we hope, it will just foster even more channels and greater audio quality satellite radio has to offer, thanks to money saved in operating costs—something the companies pointed to as a benefit of the merger.
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Arlen writes about home technology installations and product news and reviews for electronichouse.com
and Electronic House magazine.
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