Karmazin Predicts Sat Merger By Months' End
March 12, 2008 at 8:07 AM (PT)
SIRIUS SATELLITE RADIO CEO MEL KARMAZIN said on WEDNESDAY he hoped U.S. regulators would rule by the end of MARCH on the proposed merger of SIRIUS and XM SATELLITE RADIO, reports REUTERS. Speaking at the BEAR STEARNS 21st Annual Media Conference, KARMAZIN said he "took heart" about recent comments by FCC Chairman KEVIN MARTIN, who indicated that he aimed to rule on the deal by the end of MARCH.
That time frame could change, KARMAZIN cautioned, since regulatory approval of the proposed $4.2 billion merger of the two satellite radio companies had taken longer than initially expected. The companies had hoped regulators would sign off on the deal by the end of 2007.
The fact that it has lingered this long, it has been interpreted ... as good news.
"The fact that it has lingered this long, it has been interpreted ... as good news," KARMAZIN said. "Clearly if there was a big problem with the merger, it wouldn't take the (regulators) this long to figure it out. Either you believe we compete with a whole bunch of audio choices or you think there's a distinct market called satellite radio," he said.
The Department of Justice appeared to have all of the information it needed on the deal, but the companies were having active discussions with the FCC, he said. Talks with the FCC had recently accelerated, he said. Unless the DOJ sued to stop the proposed merger, the deal could close immediately after the FCC ruled, KARMAZIN said.