Sirius and XM have had a rough time over the last year trying to convince the Department of Justice to approve their merge. Over a year later and they’ve finally gotten approval. The rumor that they were working on a deal first became public back in February of 2007 and it’s taken this long for them to get the thumbs-up from the DOJ to move ahead. Overall, the response from consumers when the deal was announced was generally positive because it means more channels and possibly lower prices, although not everybody including some consumer groups, are happy with the idea of the proposed $5 billion dollar merger.
At this point it’s still not smooth sailing because now the two companies have to move on to the Federal Communications Commission and try to get approval from them as well. If they’re give the green light from the FCC, that means there will be no competition in the world of Satellite radio which is already struggling. The benefit to the two companies, however, is that analysts have said that they would be able to save about $7 billion dollars each year which is quite a bit of money.
Right now, XM subscribers are able to listen to Major League Baseball while Sirius subscribers are able to listen to NFL and NBA games. Each company also has a list of different celebrity programming with XM hosting Oprah Winfrey, Willie Nelson and Snoop Dogg. Sirius celebrity programming includes Howard Stern and Martha Stewart. All of this programing would be combined should the companies merge, and rumor has it that a new “a la carte” system of pricing would be put in place. That means customers could choose a variety of different packages that include different channels.
We’ll be keeping our eye out for any news regarding this and whether or not the FCC will give XM and Sirius their stamp of approval. Hopefully it doesn’t take them as long as it took the Department of Justice to make their decision.
Source: New York Times