XM, Sirius Agreement to Pay Fines Lets Bid Conclude

What You Should Have Read, July 28, 2008

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XM, Sirius Agreement to Pay Fines Lets Bid Conclude

The Wall Street Journal reports how Sirius Satellite Radio can finally begin wrapping up the last details of its purchase of XM Satellite Radio this week, after the Federal Communications Commission approved the deal in a 3-2 vote late Friday night. Republican Commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate's vote to approve the deal removed the final hurdle to the merger's completion.To secure her vote, the companies voluntarily agreed to pay a combined $19.7 million in fines to settle several FCC rule violations, including locating towers in unapproved locations and selling radios that exceeded power limits. As part of the deal, the companies agreed to a cap on the cost subscribers pay for channels over the next three years and promised to bring interoperable radios to the market within a year. They also agreed to à la carte pricing that will give subscribers more choices on which stations they receive. In addition, the companies agreed to set aside 8% of their channels for educational and minority-owned programming.
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