Just got this email from TWICE, looks like it'll happen:
WSJ: Sirius/XM Merger Deal Struck - 7/23/2008 2:35:00 PM - TWICE
Washington — The Wall Street Journal is reporting that a tentative deal has been reached by a majority of the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to approve the merger of Sirius and XM.
Republican commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate is the only commissioner left to vote and is expected to approve with conditions. An FCC staffer told TWICE that Tate “will vote” but did not say when or how she will vote.
Concessions on long-term pricing, minority programming and licensing fees to the music industry were all under consideration as part of any approval in recent days.
If officially approved, the new company is expected to eliminate $400 million in expenses next year as the companies shared many overlapping costs, said Sirius CEO Mel Karmazin who will assume that title at the combined company.
XM and Sirius shared one of the most heated rivalries in consumer electronics until they agreed to merge in early 2007. Since that time, retail sales declined in a 63 percent downward spiral in 2007 over 2006 and the market switched to mainly OEM sales at the car dealer. Retailers hope that merger approval will reignite retail sales.
Most of the post-merger boost is expected to come from new radios with lower monthly service fees that were promised by the companies if they were permitted to merge. These radios should be available within three months, offering a la carte plans starting as low as $6.99 a month, Sirius and XM told the FCC in June.