This news was a looooong time coming. After jumping through all sorts of hoops and hurdles, the merger between Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio has finally been approved by the US Justice Department. Sirius is buying XM for a sum of about $5 billion.
Part of what has been holding back the approval process is the fact that people think the merger would be anti-competitive and result in a virtual monopoly. Even so, the Justice Department decided to give the okay because the growth of mobile broadband “made it even more unlikely that the transaction would harm consumers in the longer term.” Mel Karmazin, the top dog at Sirius, says that the merger will make for cheaper and better programming.
This is good news for those involved, to be sure, but they’re not out of the woods just yet. The deal still has to be approved by the FCC. Chief Kevin Martin is known for being big on competition, so he might still need some convincing.