New York and Washington - Mar 24, 2008 - The U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) has informed Sirius and XM that it has ended its investigation into the pending merger of the satellite broadcasters without taking action to block the transaction. This decision means the DOJ has concluded that the merger is not anti-competitive and it will allow the transaction to proceed. Sirius and XM each obtained stockholder approval in November 2007. The pending merger is still subject to approval of the Federal Communications Commission.
From the DOJ's ruling: "After a careful and thorough review of the proposed transaction, the Division concluded that the evidence does not demonstrate that the proposed merger of XM and Sirius is likely to substantially lessen competition, and that the transaction therefore is not likely to harm consumers."
The deal has been the subject of debate since it was proposed, and the National Association of Broadcasters has expended substantial resources to block the transaction. Many speculate that the FCC will not defy the DOJ's decision, although the FCC could impose certain restrictions to appease the opponents.