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Wed, Nov 14, 2007

Merged: XM, Sirius Satellite Radio

Future Of Satellite Weather Still Cloudy

XM Satellite Radio Holdings tells ANN its stockholders have voted to approve a merger with Sirius Satellite Radio almost unanimously. The company says 99.8 percent of the shares voted were cast in favor of the transaction.

Under the terms of the merger agreement with Sirius, XM stockholders will receive 4.6 Sirius shares for each XM share they currently hold. The Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission both must OK the deal, but the company says it expects both approvals by the end of this year.

What will this mean for pilots using XM weather? So far, the company isn't saying. The Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association filed comments on the proposed merger with the FCC, stressing that continued availability of the service, at affordable rates, was in the best interest of safety.

AOPA hoped to convince the FCC to seek a guarantee to that effect before approving the merger. XM already promised the FCC that audio programming would continue to be priced at or below current levels.

If anything, the combined company may have more bandwidth than it can profitably fill with content, so it's not thought the weather products face an immediate threat. We'll keep you posted.



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