Now that satellite radio companies XM and Sirius have merged next up is a common radio that is able to tune stations from each.
While Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin has promised the FCC that such devices will be available within 9-months, investors have been told to expect them to available “a number of months sooner.”
Unfortunately that doesn’t mean, however, that we’ll have them in time for this holiday season but Karmazin did point out in an interview with Orbitcast that the new devices will be making their debut at CES 2009 in January.
After what seems like forever, the merger of satellite radio providers Sirius and XM has finally been approved by the last group that needed to bless it–the FCC.
By a vote of 3 to 2, the FCC agreed to the merger after Sirius and XM agreed to pay a $19.7 million fine for violating FCC regulations for the and-based signal repeaters the companies use to operate.
Looks like all the lobbying by land-based radio companies against the merger didn’t make enough of a difference.
Both companies have promised that within three months of the deal they would allow listeners to pay only for the channels they want.
Back in April Blockbuster announced that in February of this year they made an unsolicited bid to attempt to acquire Circuit City.
Just a quick reminder: Blockbuster had a vision of a “new” Blockbuster sees a combined Blockbuster and Circuit City would “result in an $18 billion retail enterprise uniquely positioned for the convergence of media content and electronic devices. We would seek to differentiate products in both Blockbuster and Circuit City stores by offering exclusive content and content-enabled devices. Both companies would benefit from complementary products, marketing, management strengths, technology and distribution and the resulting synergies would significantly improve consolidated financial performance.”
After no news for a bit, Blockbuster has announced today that they have pulled their offer, though they still believe that combing media and electronics is a good idea.
Blockbuster CEO Jim Keyes says, “based on market conditions and the completion of our initial due diligence process, we have determined that it is not in the best interest of Blockbuster’s shareholders to proceed with an acquisition of Circuit City”
“We continue to believe in the strategic merits of a consumer retail proposition that would bring media content and electronic devices together under one brand. We will pursue this strategy through our Blockbuster stores as a way to diversify the business and better serve the entertainment retail segment.”
I used to have three Blockbuster locations within ten minutes of home and now I think I have one…if that’s even still there (haven’t been in at least a year).
It’s nice they’re not giving up, but will they really be able to compete as a brick and mortar video and electronics store?
Their video rental business has been heading downhill for a while and Best Buy is pretty dominant in the electronics area, so the idea of Blockbuster trying to compete in this space without a time machine to bring them back 10 – 15 years sounds like a bad one to me.
Check out the full press release here if you’re interested.
South Korea’s SK Telecom tried to play it cool by saying that it was not in talks with Virgin Mobile, but Virgin Mobile says otherwise otherwise.
According to Virgin Mobile, they are in talks with SK Telecom regarding “strategic opportunities”.
Virgin Mobile is currently larger than Helio (currently owned by SK Telecom), but neither has their own cellular network and rely on purchasing time from other carriers, like Sprint.
SK Telecom is keen on getting itself a bigger piece of the US cellular market so maybe they’ll also be scooping up Nextel and/or Sprint?
According to a story at mocoNews, a source is telling that Virgin Mobile is in talks with small, financially challenged carrier Helio to potentially merge the two company’s.
Until late last year Helio had been co-owned by Earthlink and Korean communications giant SK Telecom until taking full ownership with a $70 million buyout.
Virgin, having recently announced their Q1 earnings results, isn’t exactly swimming in pools of money either.
Under one possible scenario SK Telecom would buy Virgin Mobile and do a cash infusion, then Virgin Mobile would buy Helio in an all-stock transaction.
Delta and Northwest Airlines have announced that they intend to merge in a deal worth more than $3 billion, making the combined Delta-Northwest the largest airline in the world.
Delta will acquire Northwest in an all-stock swap with Northwest shareholders to receive 1.25 Delta shares per share of Northwest, a roughly 17-percent premium over Northwest’s closing share price of $11.22 per share.
This news could speed up another possible merger in the airlines industry between Continental Airlines and United Airlines.
The deal will combine Delta’s strong Atlanta hub with Northwest’s extensive Asian presence including a hub in Tokyo.
There are no plans for any hubs to close, but airline consultant Robert Mann believes that while it would be nice if that were to happen it could be tricky for Delta to pull it off.
Pilots for Northwest oppose the deal and “the NWA MEC will use all resources available to aggressively oppose the merger.”
Sooo…I guess it’s not quite a done deal just yet.
According to a story at The Wall Street Journal, Yahoo and AOL are close a deal that would combine their Internet operations and likely thwart Microsoft’s acquisition attempt of Yahoo.
The deal will reportedly have AOL’s parent, Time Warner, folding AOL into Yahoo and making a cash investment in exchange for roughly 20% of the combined entity. Yahoo would then use cash from Time Warner as well as additional funds to buy back several billions worth of its own stock.
Microsoft isn’t sitting still and is apparently in talk with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. to jointly acquire Yahoo.
News Corp. has been engaged in their own talks with Yahoo about a possible partnership and according to “people close to the companies” talks have stalled.
Earlier this month XM and Sirius extended their merger deadline by two months and it looks like that was a good decision.
The US Department of Justice today gave the merger their blessings, saying that the merger “is not likely to harm consumers.”
They believe that market conditions would prevent the combined company from raising prices and competitors such as traditional terrestrial radio, HD radio, MP3 players, and other wireless technologies make for a competitive market.
The merger needs one more approval before its allowed to proceed, that being from the Federal Communications Commission who isn’t likely to block the merger but may add conditions to the merger such as pricing, a la carte programming, and service bundles.
[Via Ars Technica]
Last February Sirius and XM satellite radio services announced a proposed merger of the two companies and set a deadline of March 1, 2008, for the companies to walk away from the deal if US regulators had not yet approved the deal.
Today’s March 1, and the two have announced that they would be extending the deadline by two months with the hopes that the FCC and Department of Justice will approve the deal.
The traditional radio industry isn’t a fan of the deal, saying that the move would be anti-competitive.