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FCC Starts Clock on Liberty’s Application for Transfer of SiriusXM Control

Karmazin to address Liberty shareholders next week

SiriusXM President/CEO Mel Karmazin is set to speak before Liberty Media shareholders in New York City next Wednesday, Oct. 10. At the same time, the FCC has moved on Liberty’s application seeking the commission’s approval that Liberty controls the satellite radio company.

Liberty is the largest shareholder in the satcaster. It has told the FCC it intends to acquire more by Oct. 14 and would own 48% of the outstanding Sirius shares at that time. Should the agency approve the transfer of control, Liberty intends to buy more shares, nudging its stock ownership in SiriusXM to more than 50%.

The FCC says in a notice that comments or petitions to deny are due by Nov. 1, responses by Nov. 13 and replies by Nov. 20 to IB Docket 12-282.

SiriusXM has tried to fight the takeover because CEO Mel Karmazin feels Liberty is getting the company without paying a premium. Karmazin’s employment contract with SiriusXM is up in December.

In its FCC application, SiriusXM says it intends “to cooperate fully with the FCC in its evaluation of Liberty Media’s applications.” The satcaster told the commission it hasn’t signed some of the forms because it doesn’t have all the facts required to make certain certifications.

In the meantime, Liberty has told the FCC it doesn’t plan to replace the current SiriusXM board before the next annual meeting, “however under Sirius’ bylaws, Liberty Media will be required to name its slate of nominees no later than March 13, 2013.” The last annual meeting for Liberty was held in May.