Sirius (SIRI) has accelerated talks with the FCC regarding its merger with rival XM Satellite Radio (XMSR), CEO Mel Karmazin (SA 100 #30) said today. He hopes the FCC will rule on the deal this month. Reuters:
Speaking at the Bear Stearns 21st Annual Media Conference, Karmazin said he “took heart” about recent comments by U.S. Federal Communication Commission Chairman Kevin Martin, who indicated that he aimed to rule on the deal by the end of March.
That time frame could change, Karmazin cautioned, since regulatory approval of the proposed $4.2 billion merger of the two satellite radio companies had taken longer than initially expected. The companies had hoped regulators would sign off on the deal by the end of 2007.
“The fact that it has lingered this long, it has been interpreted … as good news,” Karmazin said.
“Clearly if there was a big problem with the merger, it wouldn’t take the (regulators) this long to figure it out. Either you believe we compete with a whole bunch of audio choices or you think there’s a distinct market called satellite radio,” he said.
The merger can’t come soon enough: On Karmazin’s words alone, both stocks are up 6% today.