A proposed $4.59 billion merger of satellite radio providers, Sirius and XM,
received antitrust clearance from the U.S. Justice Department yesterday.
Regulators concluded that, even with only one choice in satellite radio,
consumers have plenty of alternatives, including portable audio players and
musicenabled mobile phones.
“Competition in the marketplace generally protects consumers and I have no
reason to believe that this won’t happen here,” said the Justice Department’s
antitrust chief, Thomas Barnett, in a conference call with reporters.
The merger, which has been in the works since February 2007, would create a
single, more efficient satellite radio company, which promises to offer more
choice in content to consumers. It is still under scrutiny by the Federal
Communications Commission, which must decided whether or not to overturn a 1997
order barring either satellite radio provider from acquiring the other.
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