Monday, March 24, 2008

Sirius Buyout of Rival XM Approved

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Justice Department has approved the $5 billion buyout of XM Satellite Radio by a rival, Sirius Satellite Radio, saying the deal was unlikely to hurt competition or consumers.

The merger was approved without conditions despite opposition from consumer groups and an intense lobbying campaign by the land-based radio industry.

The combination still requires approval from the Federal Communications Commission, which prohibited a merger when it granted satellite radio operating licenses in 1997.

The Justice Department, in a lengthy statement explaining its decision, said the two companies compete not just with each other but also with other forms of radio and entertainment. Customers must buy equipment that is exclusive to either XM or Sirius, and subscribers rarely switch providers. (More)

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