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FCC Okays SiriusXM Transfer to Liberty Media

International Bureau says deal serves public interest

The FCC approved Liberty Media’s planned takeover of SiriusXM.

In the order, International Bureau Chief Mindel De La Torre wrote that the deal serves the public interest.

Liberty held about 47.3% of SiriusXM shares in November and told the agency within 60 days the media company will buy additional shares to reach more than 50%.

In the FCC’s order, the agency said only one person opposed the transfer of control, Alexander Bergmann. Bergmann, a long-time shareholder and subscriber, had argued a transfer of control can only take place when one party holds at least 80% of the voting shares of stock. Liberty argued for 50%.

The commission determined the arguments were not enough to derail the move. “Liberty Media does not currently provide any media distribution services that directly compete with the satellite radio services offered by Sirius, and thus the proposed transfer of de jure control to Liberty Media does not present any horizontal competition issues,” wrote De La Torre in approving the hand-over.

Liberty lent SiriusXM money in 2009 and has been increasing its ownership stake ever since. SiriusXM President of Sales and Operations Jim Meyer was named interim chief executive officer after CEO Mel Karmazin departed last month.