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FCC Opens Comments On Sirius/XM Merger

Washington — The Federal Communications Commission (FCC), after a long delay, has issued a notice seeking public comment on the proposed merger of Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio.
Originally announced on Feb. 19, the merger has been the subject of four congressional hearings, industry lobbying and has been called to face “an uphill battle” by Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin along with several government officials.
The FCC said the period for public comment will be held until July 9. Responses to these comments must be filed by July 24.
The FCC traditionally seeks to complete its review of mergers within 180 days of the start of the comment period. The Department of Justice must also approve the merger.
Karmazin recently told Wall Street analysts at a Lehman Brothers conference, “I believe this merger is in the public interest and I think that’s the standard the FCC uses. The chairman [of the FCC] has said a number of times he thinks this is an uphill battle. We’d have to demonstrate it’s in the public interest and that means giving consumers lower prices and more choice.”