FCC will rule on Sirius-XM by year's end


FCC chairman Kevin Martin said Tuesday that he plans to have the commission wrap its review of Sirius Satellite Radio's proposed buyout of XM by the end of the year.

Martin told reporters that the agency's 180-day merger "shot clock" would run out about that time. "That's the target," he said.

If approved, the combined value of the company would be about $13 billion, which includes net debt of about $1.6 billion. The combined company would have about 14 million subscribers.

The deal has generated thousands of filings at the commission as proponents and opponents of the deal have attempted to influence the decision.

The FCC and the Justice Department must approve the deal. While Justice looks at whether the deal will be anti-competitive, the FCC has to decide if it's in the public interest.

Broadcasters argue that allowing the nation's two satellite radio companies to become one will put terrestrial radio at an unfair advantage.