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.
BlackBerry users who also like XM Satellite Radio service have a new reason to be happy today.
XM has announced that it is teaming up with QuickPlay Media to deliver “20 exclusive XM channels of commercial-free music and 24-hour comedy programming for just $7.99 per month with an option for a complimentary 24-hour trial.”
The BlackBerry devices that will support the service are the 8800, 8700, Pearl and Curve, just make sure you have Blackberry Device Software 4.2 or higher.
You’ll need to install an application first before you can use the service which you can find at http://www.xmradio.com/bb or text “XM” to 47201 and click on the download link that’s send to you.
You can check out the full press release here if you’re interested.
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.