On July 25, 2008, the Commission voted to approve the merger between Sirius Satellite Radio and XM Satellite Radio, with Chairman Kevin J. Martin and Commissioners Robert M. McDowell and Deborah Taylor Tate voting in favor and Commissioners Michael J. Copps and Jonathan S. Adelstein dissenting. The Commission found that, with the voluntary commitments made by the parties and other conditions imposed by the FCC, the transaction is in the public interest.
The voluntary commitments made by Sirius and XM include, among other obligations, capping prices for a three-year period after consummation of the transaction; offering consumers the ability to receive a number of new programming packages, including selecting programming on an a la carte basis; making a percentage of capacity available for use by certain qualified entities and for noncommercial educational or informational programming; and offering interoperable receivers for sale in the retail after-market. In addition, Sirius and XM agreed to refrain from barring manufacturers from incorporating into satellite radio receivers other non-interfering technology, such as HD radio functionality or iPod compatibility. The companies are prohibited from using terrestrial repeaters to originate local programming and advertising.
The FCC also adopted Consent Decrees with Sirius and XM, which terminated the Commission's investigation into the satellite radio companies' compliance with FCC regulations governing FM modulators and terrestrial repeaters. Under the agreements, XM and Sirius will make voluntary contributions to the U.S. Treasury and implement a plan to ensure future compliance with the Commission's rules.
A copy of the FCC Order approving the transaction between Sirius and XM can be found here.