XM Satellite Radio and Sirius can now live happily ever after, thanks to an official approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
“The merger is in the public interest and will provide consumers with greater flexibility and choices,” agency chairman Kevin Martin recently stated. “Consumers will enjoy a variety of programming at reduced prices and more diversified programming choices.”
The green light follows a conditional approval by swing vote Deborah Taylor Tate. The dangling commissioner indicated an approval late last week, subject to various conditions, including the payment of previous fines nearing $20 million. “I am pleased that before acting on this merger, the Commission first finalized our enforcement proceeding against two companies that have flagrantly violated FCC rules and regulations,” Tate said.
The approval process took nearly eighteen months to complete, a test of patience for both companies. It also tested the pocketbooks of the merger hopefuls, though the combined operation promises economies of scale and a more enticing selection for subscribers.