XM, Sirius detail potential FCC consent decree

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio confirm that they're talking with the federal regulator about ways to move their 17-month merger effort forward.

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio confirmed on Thursday that they are discussing a possible consent decree with the Federal Communications Commission in an effort to bring their 17-month merger effort to a conclusion.

The FCC, while inching closer to a resolution since this summer , has had concerns over compliance with commission rules. One concern regards radios with FM transmitters, and the other concern regards transmitters with terrestrial repeaters.

XM and Sirius noted that a possible consent decree with the FCC could include their agreement to:

  • Adopt comprehensive compliance plans and take steps to address any potentially noncompliant radios remaining in the hands of consumers.
  • In the case of XM, within 60 days of the order adopting the consent decree, shut down 50 variant terrestrial repeaters, and shut down or bring into compliance an additional 50 variant terrestrial repeaters.
  • In the case of Sirius, bring into compliance or shut down up to 11 variant terrestrial repeaters within 60 days of the order adopting the consent decree. These terrestrial repeaters were shut off by Sirius in October 2006.
  • Make voluntary contributions to the United States Treasury of approximately $17 million in the case of XM, and approximately $2 million in the case of Sirius.
One of five FCC commissioners has the swing vote on the XM-Sirius merger , according to a report in The Wall Street Journal.
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