Liberty Media moved closer to its goal of acquiring control of Sirius XM Radio with the $234.3 million purchase of additional shares to raise its stake to 48% and with the filing of documents with the FCC last Friday that request consent for Liberty to assume control of the satellite radio service provider. Friday’s FCC filing represents Liberty’s second attempt this year to gain control of Sirius, in which Liberty invested $530 million in 2009 for preferred stock that converts to a 40% stake. Citing, as precedent, its previous request for de facto control of DirecTV that was granted by the FCC in 2008 and that was based on Liberty’s 40% stake in that company, Liberty asked the FCC in March to declare that Liberty held de facto control of Sirius. The FCC denied that request, however, concluded that Liberty had not demonstrated it “intends to take actions”—such as converting its preferred shares to common stock or acquiring a majority of board seats— that would give it control. (Sirius had also notified the FCC of its opposition to Liberty’s request, emphasizing that the recent expiration of a standstill agreement that precluded Liberty from seeking control of Sirius did not result in a de facto transfer of control.) To facilitate Liberty’s recent purchase of Sirius shares and the acquisition of additional shares that would raise Liberty’s stake beyond the 50% threshold needed for control, Liberty announced last week that it will spin off its pay television channel Starz into a separate company. In its transfer of control application, Liberty also advised the FCC that it will “have purchased sufficient shares of Sirius’s common stock and will convert its preferred shares” to gain a majority stake in Liberty “within 60 days of Commission consent.” Signaling that it no longer opposes Liberty’s plans, Sirius pledged in a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing that it would “cooperate fully” with Liberty and the FCC as the agency conducts its review of the Liberty transfer application.