DOJ approves Sirius-XM merger

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Washington, D.C.—The Justice Department on Monday approved the merger of satellite radio companies XM and Sirius, more than a year after it was originally proposed. The deal still needs approval from the Federal Communications Commission.

“After a careful and thorough review of the proposed transaction, the Division concluded that the evidence does not demonstrate that the proposed merger of XM and Sirius is likely to substantially lessen competition, and that the transaction therefore is not likely to harm consumers,” the Justice Department’s antitrust division said in a statement. XM and Sirius each has more than 8 million subscribers.

The National Association of Broadcasters, which represents more than 8,300 local radio and TV stations, opposes the merger. “We are astonished that the Justice Department would propose granting a monopoly to two companies that systematically broke FCC rules for more than a decade,” NAB Exec VP Dennis Wharton said in a statement Monday. “To hinge approval of this monopoly on XM and Sirius’s refusal to deliver on a promise of interoperable radios is nothing short of breathtaking.”

—Matthew Schwartz

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