XM and Sirius just cleared the largest (and longest) hurdle on their path to getting all conjoined: The Justice Department officially okayed Sirius's $5 billion buyout of XM. They said that the growth of mobile broadband "made it even more unlikely that the transaction would harm consumers in the longer term," squashing arguments from radio and broadcasting groups the merger would be anti-competitive. The DoJ thumbs up makes the merger more likely to happen, which Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin has repeatedly promised will make for cheaper, better programming.
Next stop is the FCC. Chief Kevin Martin is vocally hot on competition, so he'll probably squeeze them pretty hard on following through, though he's likely to take the same stance as the DoJ: The environment's so scrambled right now, a single satellite radio company isn't really going to harm consumers. And if they do raise prices and start sucking, people have plenty of other options to abandon them for. On the other hand, they were both already on life support, so this jolt might not be enough to fully re-animte them. [Breitbart]