FCC Approves Satellite Radio Merger
3-2 vote OKs $3.3B Sirius buyout of XM, ends 16-month drama
By Newser Editors and Wire Services
Posted Jul 25, 2008 8:21 PM CDT
Federal Communications Commission (FCC) commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate speaks in Las Vegas on Tuesday, April 17, 2007.   (AP Photo)
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(Newser) – Federal regulators formally approved the merger of the United States' only two satellite radio operators today, ending a 16-month-long drama closely watched by Washington and Wall Street. Sirius Satellite Radio Inc.'s $3.3 billion buyout of rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. will mean 18 million-plus subscribers will be able to receive programming from both services.

Executives say it will mean huge cost savings that will lead to a first-ever profit for the relatively nascent industry, the AP reports. The Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to approve the buyout, with the tie-breaking vote coming Friday night from Republican commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate.