As expected, shareholders of both XM and Sirius Satellite Radio voted overwhelming yesterday to approve merging the two companies. More than 99% of the votes cast at XM were in favor of the merger and the tally at Sirius was over 96%. Before the deal can close, though, it still needs approval by the FCC and by the Antitrust Division of the US Department of Justice.
"The approval by Sirius stockholders of our merger with XM represents a significant step in the approval process, and on behalf of the Board and management team, I want to thank our stockholders for their continued support. We look forward to completing the merger by the end of the year and, together with XM, becoming an even stronger competitor in the ever expanding audio entertainment marketplace offering consumers more choices at lower prices," said Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin in announcing the tally.
RBR/TVBR observation: OK, let’s examine Mel’s comment and see where he was in error. First of all, the vote was not a "significant step," it was a foregone conclusion. Why would the shareholders vote against creating a monopoly for themselves? So, it was, in fact, an insignificant step in this merger process. As for offering consumers "more choices," Mel is partially correct, although some of the proposed new offerings could quite easily be offered today by either company. As for "lower prices," it seems Mel doesn’t know how to count. The new packages proposed, particularly a la carte, would charge consumers much, much more per channel than the current offerings of either company.