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Sirius and XM close merger

After a 17-month antitrust saga since announcing merger plans, the United States' only two satellite radio companies become one. The new name: Sirius XM Radio.

Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio announced on Tuesday that they closed their long-awaited merger, ending a 17-month saga since the deal was first announced to bring the nation's only two satellite radio companies together.

The combined company, with more than 18.5 million subscribers, is now called Sirius XM Radio. It is set to rank as the second-largest U.S. radio company, based on annual revenues.

Sirius XM Radio will offer more than 300 programming channels spanning exclusive shows, such as those of Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey, and a la carte programming. Subscribers will be able to select certain programs from each of the two former companies under one package.

"By offering more compelling packages and the best content in audio entertainment, we are well-positioned for increased subscriber growth," Mel Karmazin, CEO of the newly minted Sirius XM Radio, said in a statement.

The new programs, expected to begin rolling out in early fall, will not require a new device. And as the companies previously stated, subscribers can continue to maintain their current service plan.

While the merger is designed to bring cost savings and synergies to the newly formed company, it was the consolidation of the nation's only two satellite radio companies that raised concerns with the Federal Communications Commission, which approved the deal in a 3-2 vote on Friday.

XM investors will receive 4.6 shares of Sirius for every XM share they currently own, and the ticker symbol will now trade under "SIRI." Sirius XM Radio will be headquartered in New York, and its wholly owned subsidiary XM Satellite Radio will remain in Washington, D.C.