Up in the Air
It’s a familiar enough scenario. Two industry giants who have been at each other’s throats for the last few years decide to shake hands and play nice. The goal: to join and form one large corporation. The challenge: Convincing everyone else you’re not out to destroy them, while simultaneously asking the FCC to forgive the concessions you made, namely to never merge in the first place.
If XM and Sirius, the nation’s only two satellite radio companies, have their way they would operate as one entity, combining only financial assets and programming. On either side of this debate are folks who stand to lose and gain quite a lot from the decision, which, said Patrick Reilly, senior vice president of communications at Sirius, is expected to come down “in about nine months.”
If successful, the companies will be combined in a tax-free, all-stock merger with a combined value of approximately $13 billion. Today, the companies have an estimated 14 million subscribers between them. If the merger is a success, both companies say they’ll introduce real-time traffic and rear-seat video, as well as weather and “infotainment offerings.”