After months of speculation, XM Satellite Radio Holdings and Sirius Satellite Radio , the only two existing federally licensed satellite radio companies, could merge successfully if they can overcome regulatory hurdles.
Analysts say government approval of the proposed $11.4 billion plan depends on the definition of the relevant market place in terms of competition and rapid changes in media technology: the broader the market place and the more forward-looking, the more likely it will be approved. Sirius and XM will have to prove that their merger will not constitute an illegal monopoly because they compete in a broader market place with digital media products such as the iPod and other mobile devices that deliver similar content to them. In other words, the world is a different place than when the rules explicitly preventing a merger were written.
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