The urge to merge, handicapped


M & A Researcher is keeping its eye on progress of the proposed wedding of XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio. It notes that although there have been splashes made from both sides, the high-profile support for the merger from former FCC Commissioner Harold Furchtgott-Roth and accompanying letters of support from generally small public organizations may have given some the impression that the merger's prospects are incrementally improving.

However, it notes that the NAB has been countering just about every pro-merger opinion in a neutralization campaign, and that in reality, neither side has recently added much of substance to the debate. It further suggests that it will be well into the autumn at the earliest before we have any idea what either the FCC or DOJ are thinking about the proposal. In the final analysis, putting on its oddsmaker cap, M & A suggests that the merger's chances of success are precisely where it put them earlier, at 33%.