Pandora Radio Gets FCC Approval For Purchase Of KXMZ (Hits 102.7)/Rapid City
June 2, 2015 at 11:46 AM (PT)
The FCC has issued its approval of PANDORA RADIO's purchase of Hot AC KXMZ (HITS 102.7)/BOX ELDER-RAPID CITY, SD from CONNOISSEUR MEDIA for $600,000. The move follows the Commission's grant of a conditional waiver of the Commission's foreign ownership restrictions, under which PANDORA must obtain prior FCC approval for aggregate foreign equity and/or foreign voting interests exceeding 49.99%, or any change in the PANDORA board that would give foreign members a majority, or any individual foreign investor or group acquiring a greater than 5% voting or equity interest (or 10% for certain institutional investors) in the company.
PANDORA submitted two versions of plans to ensure compliance with Commission rules, including monitoring of institutional shareholders close to the 5% ownership threshold; the Commission added the requirement that the final plan be subject to a shareholder vote at the 2016 and 2017 PANDORA shareholder meetings, and if it does not get approved by the latter meeting, the station will be subject to divestiture.
ASCAP had objected to the sale because PANDORA's stock is widely held by companies which may or may not have foreign interests involved and because it characterized the deal as PANDORA trying to take advantage of a copyright law loophole to allow the streaming music provider to obtain broadcasters' rates rather than the higher pure-play streamer rates.