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Saturday, June 21, 2008

FCC Chair To Support XM-Sirius Merger

via The Washington Post

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Kevin J. Martin said yesterday (June 15 - fhb) that he will support a merger between the nation's sole satellite radio operators, XM and Sirius, a decision that could remove the last regulatory hurdle in the lengthy and heavily criticized move to make the companies one.

Martin came to the decision after the companies agreed last week to several commitments intended to prevent the monopoly from raising programming prices and from stifling competition among radio makers, aides to the chairman said in an interview yesterday. Critics have argued that a merger of District-based XM and Sirius of New York would hurt consumers, who would have fewer choices of programming and radio transmitters and who would be charged higher prices because of a lack of rivals.

As early as this week, Martin is expected to issue an order that the commission vote to approve the merger, which at least two of the remaining four commissioners must also agree to, the aides said.

Full article

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