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States lobby for restrictions on XM-Sirius merger

Attorneys general from 11 states urged the FCC on Thursday to impose conditions on the proposed union if the agency decides to approve the deal, according to Reuters.

Attorneys general from 11 states urged the Federal Communications Commission on Thursday to impose conditions on the proposed union of Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio should the agency decide to approve the megamerger,according to Reuters.

The state leaders said they were disappointed by Monday's decision by U.S. Justice Department antitrust regulators to let the deal go through without conditions. They suggested restrictions that would preserve competition and protect consumers, such as requiring "Sirius and XM to make interoperable radio receivers available to customers, offer different packages of channels on an a la carte basis, and divest some radio spectrum that would allow another competitor into the business," according to the story.

Sirius' proposed acquisition of XM--an all-stock deal now valued at $5 billion--still needs approval by the FCC, which had warned that the companies had high hurdles to surmount before gaining approval. Among other things, that's because in 1997, the FCC adopted an order prohibiting such a merger when it would result in only one operator controlling all satellite radio spectrum.