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US Department of Justice Wont Block Merger of Sirius and XM

Date: 3/27/2008 10:39:48 AM

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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