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Sirius-XM deal faces high hurdle with the FCC

Sirius and XM satellite radio companies have announced plans to merge companies, but the FCC said that federal approval will be difficult to acquire. Current laws prevent one company from holding the only two satellite radio licenses. "The companies would need to demonstrate that consumers would clearly be better off with both more choice and affordable prices," FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said. They would also need approval from the U.S. Department of Justice. However, a Bear Stearns analyst said a merger would have a good chance of overcoming the regulatory obstacles.

The New York Times added that Mel Karmazin, the current CEO of Sirius, would become the CEO of the new company, while XM Chairman Gary Parsons would retain that post.

The Star Tribune did a much better job of covering the story, discussing questions about new prices and company posts, as well as providing analyses of the prospective merger.