The FCC has asked the satellite radio companies for more information related to their proposed merger. Experts are divided on whether the request means the agency is close to making a decision on the deal.
The questionnaires to XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio could indicate areas where the agency might seek concessions from the satcasters should it approve the merger.
“This is the next step in the regulatory process,” said XM and Sirius in a statement. The companies stated that the information has already been collected for the Department of Justice, so providing it also to the FCC is easy. Sirius and XM remain hopeful the deal will be approved by both the DOJ and FCC by year-end.
Shareholders are slated to vote on the deal Nov. 13.
The FCC sought details on channel duplication, programming distribution and deals with talent and audience demographics. The agency also asked for documents relating to agreements with retailers, including commissions and subsidies for receivers.
Documentation on the agreements between the satcasters to develop an interoperable radio and the location and technical operating details of terrestrial repeaters was also requested.