Satellite Merger Clears Hurdle

Justice Dept. doesn't see threat to competition; FCC must still weigh in
By Nick McMaster,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 24, 2008 3:32 PM CDT
XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio products are advertised side by side on the exterior windows of the Al & Ed's Autosound store in the Sherman Oaks section of Los Angeles, March 21, 2007.    (AP Photo/Damian Dovarganes)
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(Newser) – The Justice Department today approved the proposed merger between satellite radio firms Sirius and XM, the Wall Street Journal reports. The FCC must still sign off, but the pair appears to have allayed antitrust concerns about the merger of the industry's two largest companies by arguing that they face competition from all music providers, including conventional radio.

Though the FCC rarely contradicts Justice rulings, it could add extra conditions. Sirius and XM now must focus on making the integration a smooth one and making good on benefits promised for the new conglomerate—including full compatibility with both services on each others' receivers, a feature not currently available.