WASHINGTON—The Federal Communications Commission has announced that XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. and Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. have submitted applications with the FCC to transfer their operating licenses to a merged corporation made up from both companies.
Under the plan submitted to the FCC on Friday, control of the licenses would pass to XM as the surviving corporation. The new board of directors would be drawn from current directors at both corporations.
According to the FCC public notice, the commission has made an initial review of the petitions and has accepted the filing. Comments on this filing are due by July 9, and responses and opposition filings are due by July 24.
The acceptance of the petition does not mean that the FCC has approved the merger of Sirius and XM, only that it has allowed the companies to file a petition to do so. Now that the petition is filed, parties that wish to comment, oppose or seek modifications to the proposed merger will be allowed to file the appropriate documents.
In the past, the FCC has said that it intends to oppose the merger of the two companies. The position of FCC Chairman Kevin Martin when he spoke with eWEEK in March was that the agreement with the companies when they were granted the satellite radio frequencies was that they would do so as competitors.
Once the FCC has received comments on the Sirius-XM petition, the FCC will schedule one or more public hearings on the subject. At this point, no date for such hearings, should they actually take place, has been set.
The text of the FCCs Public Notice can be found at the FCC Web site.