Monday, March 24, 2008

Justice Department Approves XM-Sirius Merger

The Justice Department gave approval on Monday to the merger of two rival radio networks, XM and Sirius, a marriage that would create a monopoly in satellite services now used by more than 17 million subscribers.

The merger is opposed by consumer groups and broadcasters who say it will force up prices and reduce the programming now available from the two competing systems.

XM, which has about nine million subscribers, offers play-by-play from Major League Baseball games. Sirius, which has about 8.3 million subscribers, broadcasts live play-by-play games of the N.F.L. and N.B.A., as well as live NASCAR races.

Shares of both companies rose on the approval. Shares of XM rose $1.85, to $13.79. Sirius rose 25 cents, to $3.15 a share.

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