Today's we've been treated to the latest of a growing mountain of chapters in the story of Sirius Satellite Radio's attempted takeover of XM Satellite Radio (XMSR). According to the pair of firms, former Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Mark Fowler is in favor of a merger between the companies. Fowler's editorial offering in the New York Sun noted that If the two satellite radio companies need to combine to be more effective competitors ... the government should not stand in the way.
One of the mergers chief opponents is the National Association of Broadcasters, which claims the combination of Sirius and XM would create a monopoly. (Of course, satellite radio is not a necessity, and it would continue to compete with terrestrial free radio offerings, Internet radio, MP3 players, and a variety of other mobile entertainment). Recent information found in public records shows that XM and Sirius together spent $810,000 in the first half of 2007 lobbying the federal government to allow the merger to clear. The NAB, meanwhile, has spent $4.3 million in lobbying fees, much of which was spent to challenge the proposed satellite-radio partnership.
The battle for this merger has been going on since February, when Sirius first announced plans to buy out XM in a $13.6-billion deal. In today's trading, SIRI has risen 3.7% while XMSR has tacked on 3.2%.
To refresh your memory on other stages of this battle, I refer you to the following blog postings from days past:
Houston, We Have a Problem 02.20.07
I Heard it on the Radio, 01.12.07