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Info Sat Radio Companies Bemoan Merger Process - 13-May-2008, 14:30

Sat Radio Companies Bemoan Merger Process

Their proposed merger has been before regulators for nearly 15 months, but Sirius and XM said Monday they hope the endeavor is coming to an end.

In March, the Justice Department's Antitrust Division cleared the satellite radio merger. The deal remains before the Federal Communications Commission for a final regulatory OK.

In a conference call with analysts, Sirius' Mel Karmazin said the company "feels the reasonable frustration that our investors feel" concerning the drawn-out regulatory process for the merger. The deal was first announced more than 400 days ago, and the FCC has worked on the deal for more than 300 days, he said.

However, Karmazin added, "we are optimistic that the deal is close to the finish line."

The Sirius CEO also argued that the merger is in the public interest, promising that a combined satellite radio entity will offer more choices and lower prices.

XM President and CEO Nate Davis said the merger process "is clearly a protracted one," but added that the companies are "hopeful that we are nearing the end of the process."
   
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