FCC Chairman Backs Sirius/XM Merger

It's not official yet, but FCC Chairman Kevin Martin (one of five relevant votes) has decided to allow the merge between Sirius and XM satellite radio providers. However, there are a few caveats that the companies would need to accept-but it's all good news for the consumer.

1. The company(s) would need to freeze prices for three years.

2. "A la carte" options would need to be available within three months of the merger.

3. 8% of their airspace (24 channels) would need to be dedicated to noncommercial and minority programming.

Also of note, the FCC has leaked that Sirius and XM have agreed to open manufacturing on the radios to all companies, creating more marketplace competition (and hopefully some better tech). It's looking more and more like this deal is gonna happen...sometime. [NYTimes]

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It's not all good news to the consumer. It may be good news for investors, but I fully expect the quality of programming on XM to suffer once Mel moves in...