Saturday, July 26, 2008

XM / Sirius merger gets the green light

Satellite Radio providers XM and Sirius passed the final regulatory hurdle to merge the two companies and subscription services with a ruling by the US Federal Communications Commission late Friday.

The merger was originally proposed over a year and a half ago as other entertainment devices for cars gained in popularity, and capital expenditures by the two companies for satellites, terrestrial repeaters, and content had far exceeded any potential return.

Many people in rural areas (where radio can be spotty) and those that drive long distances (truck drivers among them) applauded the decision, while others including some broadcasters, consumer advocate groups,  and others had lobbied against the merger.

The FCC is fining both companies for operating their land-based systems repeater systems outside of  FCC regulations.

The plan calls for XM and Sirius to combine services, satellite and repeater use, and to provide a new lower price schedule to consumers, who most-likely will be seeing new product offerings directly from new car dealers shortly.

Unlike a few years ago, manufacturers had slowed innovation of external new add-on receivers for both services until the outcome of the hearings were known.

Update Jul 29:  Numerous 'trusted' news sources are now confirming XM / Sirius is a done deal.