FCC Starts Comment Period on Liberty Media Request to Take Control of Sirius XM

58 BIZ Mel Karmazin
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Meanwhile, an investor meeting next week will include updates from Liberty top executives and Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin whose future has been in doubt.

The FCC has started a public comment period on Liberty Media's application for the agency to approve its plan to take control of Sirius XM Radio.

Moving ahead with its evaluation of the application, the FCC said in a notice that comments are due by Nov. 1, with responses to them due by Nov. 20. A decision is expected within weeks of that final deadline.

John Malone's Liberty filed a second request with the FCC in August, asking for approval to take outright control of the satellite radio firm. Liberty has in recent weeks continued to acquire Sirius stock, inching closer to owning a 50 percent stake. It is expected to wait for a final FCC decision before crossing the 50 percent mark.

Much debate has as of late focused on the future of Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin whose employment contract expires at the end of the year. Liberty chairman Malone and CEO Greg Maffei have said Karmazin has done a good job, but also emphasized that Sirius will be fine without him at the top.

Malone, Maffei and Karmazin are all expected to speak at Liberty Media's annual investor meeting in New York next Wednesday. Observers will closely follow their latest comments and body language for potential clues on the future leadership of Sirius.

Email: Georg.Szalai@thr.com
Twitter: @georgszalai