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The FCC Approves the XM-Sirius Merger

The satellite radio pioneers have the green light to unite, but pressure from rivals and declining car sales threatens to turn satellite radio into a niche market
Xm Sirius
Justin Sullivan/Getty Images

After more than 16 months in regulatory limbo, the planned merger between XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) and Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) finally got the go-ahead. Late on July 25, the Federal Communications Commission voted 3-2 to approve the deal without imposing many conditions that might have reduced the appeal of the merger.

A green light from the top communications regulator was the last government approval needed before combining the satellite radio pioneers. Regulators fretted that a merger of the two principal satellite radio companies would create a monopoly that could raise prices and freeze out competitors. But digital music delivered over the Internet has revolutionized how people get and listen to songs, and helped flood the market with competition.