• Mar 24th 2008 at 3:58PM
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On February 19th, 2007, rival satellite radio providers Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio announced a merger worth $5 billion. It was approved by shareholders last November, but many weren't confident the Justic Department would approve the merger of satellite radio's only two providers. Today it has done just that, removing one of the last obstacles to the holy union of these two companies. The feds' main justification for its approval is that the companies compete as much with other forms of radio (terrestial, HD, etc.) and entertainment as they do with each other, therefore, consumers will likely not be harmed satellite radio will still face stiff competition. If satellite radio is to survive the onslaught of in-car entertainment options, which will soon include the web itself, this merger is a must. Howard Stern (Sirisu), meet Oprah (XM).
[Source: Engadget]

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    • 1 Second Ago
      • 7 Years Ago
      I always told myslef I would never "pay" for radio, but with the free year I got with my Dodge, I am hooked. The radio market in Dallas/Fort Worth is crap, and loaded with car dealer commercials.

      Sirrius is currently rolling out Sirius TV in the new Chrysler minivans. it's only 6 or so stations right now, but imagine if it had 50 or 60 channels? You could conceivably have one radio/TV provider for both your home and car.

      As for pricing, they have been talking about an Ala' Carte line. Something like any 50 channels you want for $6.95 per month.
      • 7 Years Ago
      About time. I've had XM for over 5 years and never, ever, ever listen to local radio. But, I just bought a BMW that only offers Sirius which I don't like as much. As long as I can listen to "Suite 62" soon I'm cool. Otherwise, I have to go aftermarket.
      • 7 Years Ago
      Just like Exxon-Mobil union of many years ago, we won't really know how bad were taking it in the rear until a few years down the road. Get your KY ready XM/Sirrius subscribers.
        • 7 Years Ago
        yup, that was my thoughts as well. the equipment isn't compatible with each other, so the most they're going to save money is by eliminating programming or bargaining harder with content. the biggest rise in their revenue is going to be by upping the price that we have to pay for service, b/c there isn't going to be any competition. damn...
        • 7 Years Ago
        iSpec, there is no comparison to oil company mergers here. Its laughable to even try.

        Why? Because no one wants this business. They had no choice but to merge. What the JD did was find out that no one wants to try and enter this business because its too damn expensive and too few customers. As such they let the merger go through because it was pointless to stop it and possibly detrimental to both if it didn't go through.

        Face it, Satellite radio is a great idea but the market isn't there. If there was real money to be made there without incredible risk you can be assured the big media companies would have already jumped on it, let alone buy out one of these companies.

        No, its actually good for the consumer because it means there is likely to be satellite radio
      • 7 Years Ago
      This is actually GOOD for long term competition as it increases the likelihood that satellite radio will continue to exist. Otherwise, one of these two services would drive the other into bankrupcty and half of the programming and installed would likely be lost.

      At least this will allow the two companies to form an organized plan for merging content, hardware, etc. My guess is that somewhat reduced content (to eliminate overlaps) will be broadcast over both satellite networks, so both XM and Sirius hardware will be available for a while and the combined programming will be broader than eother service today (e.g. all major sports on both instead of some sports on each).

      The definitions of "marketplace" and "competition" have been the crux of this merger battle. Sirius and XM are only two of many competitors vying for the "portable music" market, so this merger only creates a stronger competitor for FM, HD Radio, Apple, etc. Given how cars are offered with increasingly sophisticated multi-media systems these days, this is a forward thinking decision. It's concievable that within 5-10 years cars will be able to stream music directly from the internet via wireless/mobile networks, so satellite will just be another form of mobile music.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Man, I hope they go with XM's name and logo. The Sirius name is lame and the logo is lamer.
      • 7 Years Ago
      howard stern meet oprah? WTF???

      How about Opie and Anthony DESTROY that decrepid old windbag that used to be funny until everyone stopped careing about howard stern.

        • 7 Years Ago
        Id agree with you on the: "decrepid old windbag that used to be funny until everyone stopped careing about howard stern. ".... But not untill Opie and Anthony get a 500 Million dollar contract.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I think in the long term it will turn out to be a good thing for the company. It will be interesting to see how HD radio competes with satellite and as someone said above, Internet radio. Ultimately, I think they both will succomb to consumer demands for lower prices and pay for the services with advertising.

      • 7 Years Ago
      @imoore wrote "... Besides, it won't be much long before satellite radio goes away for good-I'll give it at least 3 more years."

      Clearly, you have not been paying attention. This merger will dramatically speed the advance of satellite radio, especially in our automobiles. A major thrust will include mobile Internet access and TV.

      However, if it were just radio, this would still be major. Between them XM and Sirius provide access to every game played in Major League Baseball, the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL. The two services provide access to virtually every major NCAA basketball and football game. Music of virtually every genre, comedy, news, public affairs, lifestyle programming, and so much more are available on hundreds of channels. Nowhere on Earth does terrestrial radio offer as much as XM and Sirius offer everywhere in the Continental USA.
      • 7 Years Ago
      I bought a bunch of Sirius shares when it was in the 2.60ish range so I just made a ton of money. Gotta decide over the next day or so if I should hang onto it or just flip it. I think I will cut out half my position and hang onto the rest to see what happens.
      • 7 Years Ago
      What is "Sirisu"?
      • 7 Years Ago
      "portable music market"? That is an extremely broad and liberal interpretation. No way I would every confuse an Ipod in which I decide the content and own it w/o commericals with something that is beamed to me with channels and commercials. Why not just have a category called "entertainment" so just about any merger can happen?

      And just like Exxon/Mobil you will not see any price decreases. Most likely you will see less programming for the same amount of money with more commericals.

      I'm avoiding the whole mess by not super-commuting and needing such a thing - I save a whole bunch of time and money to boot.
        • 7 Years Ago
        OK, think of it like this:

        At home, do you have a choice of two satellite TV companies, two cable TV companies and two telephone companies who deliver TV over IP? No chance. A mixture of all these service providers offers you choice of what is essentially the same thing: digital television.

        Looking at satellite radio as a single marketplace is ridiculously limiting because people who want to listen to music, news, sports and talk in their car have a wide variety of options such as CDs, MP3 players, free radio, HD radio and satellite (and internet radio in the car is inevitable). That's competition. Money that might be spent on and iPod and iTunes may otherwise go to a satellite radio receiver and monthly programming or vice versa. COMPETITION.

        One more perspective: right now, XM has MLB, NHL, PGA. Sirius has NFl, NBA, Nascar and Soccer. Today, you have to choose one or the other. Together, they will have ALL OF THE ABOVE. How is this bad for consumers?

        Think about the big picture -- this deal makes perfect sense.

      • 7 Years Ago
      Neither service impressed me that much, so it not that big of a deal to me. Besides, it won't be much long before satellite radio goes away for good-I'll give it at least 3 more years.
        • 7 Years Ago
        I' kinda surprised it's lasted this long. XM and Sirius lose TONS of money and the idea of commercial free music is already a distant memory. The only way satellite radio will survive is with more commericlas and/or higher fees so if anything you can look forward to that.
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