FCC Finally Approves Sirius/XM Merger
July 25, 2008 at 7:12 PM (PT)
The FCC has finally voted to approve the merger between XM and SIRIUS Satellite Radio. As expected, the vote was 3-2, with Commissioner DEBORAH TAYLOR TATE casting the deciding vote to approve a deal that took almost 18 months to complete.
At the same time, the two satcasters will pay about $20 million in fines for "overstepping their bounds" in certain broadcasting areas. "I am pleased that before acting on this merger, the Commission first finalized our enforcement proceeding against two companies that have flagrantly violated FCC rules and regulations," TATE said in a statement.
On top of the fines, the newly merged satcaster will be monitored for five years to ensure compliance.
In a statement issued late FRIDAY, NAB EVP DENNIS WHARTON said, "Today's vote certainly comes as a disappointment to NAB. We continue to believe that consumers are best served by competition rather than monopolies."