While the bureaucrats at the FCC and FTC, not to mention Congress, have yet to rule on the issue, the shareholders of both XM Satellite Radio and competitor Sirius have approved the merger that was announced earlier this year:
NEW YORK — Shareholders approved a deal Tuesday to allow Sirius Satellite Radio Inc. to acquire its rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings Inc. for about $5 billion, but the largest hurdle has yet to come _ regulatory approval in Washington.
Shareholders of Sirius and XM had been widely expected to approve the deal, which would allow the companies to save costs on programming, acquiring subscribers and broadcasting. Shareholder advisory firms had already endorsed the deal.
More difficult will be getting the deal approved in Washington, where the Department of Justice and the Federal Communications Commission must both give their blessing. Several consumer groups have opposed the combination, saying it would create a monopoly that could hurt consumers.
Sirius said in a statement that more than 96 percent of the shareholder votes cast approved the acquisition, while XM said 99.8 percent of its shareholders were in favor. The companies said they still hoped to complete the deal by the end of the year.
In a sane world, that would be the end of the discussion and the merger would go forward. But we don’t live in a sane world, so we’ve got to wait until a bunch of pencil-pushers in Washington decide if this is good idea or not.
All in all, it strikes me as terrible way to run an economy.