Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) and XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) are in final talks with the FCC to settle outstanding enforcement issues in a deal would pave the way for approval Sirius’ $3.9 billion buyout of XM.
As part of the deal, XM would agree to pay $17.5 million and Sirius $2.2 million to settle long standing complaints that their ground-based repeaters — used where subscribers can’t get satellite signals — interfere with terrestrial radio broadcasts.
The FCC is deadlocked 2-2 on the proposed deal, but Republican commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate is expected to cast the deciding vote in favour of the deal as soon as the agreement is circulated to the full commission.
In addition to the payments to the US Treasury, Sirius and XM are expected to agree to:
- Take steps to address any potentially non-compliant radios remaining in the hands of consumers.
- In the case of XM, shut down 50 terrestrial repeaters and either shut down or bring into compliance an additional 50 repeaters.
- In the case of Sirius, bring into compliance or shut down 11 terrestrial repeaters.
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