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Tentative Deal Reached on XM-Sirius Merger: WSJ

CNBC.com
Wednesday, 23 Jul 2008 | 2:42 PM ET

The Federal Communications Commission is close to giving a green light to Sirius Satellite Radio's proposed takeover of acquisition of XM Satellite Radio, the Wall Street Journal reported Wednesday.

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AP
XM Sirius

With two Democratic FCC commissioners opposed to the deal and two Republican commissioners in favor, the fifth vote from previously undecided Republican Deborah Taylor Tate appears set to go in favor of the merger, the newspaper said.

The vote could come as early as today. The two companies will pay about $20 million in fines in order to get the approval, the Journal said.

Commissioners are able to vote on items "on circulation," meaning by way of computer, rather than at a public meeting. Those votes are generally not made public until all have been cast.

Adelstein Casts 'No' Vote

Earlier Wednesday, Democratic commissioner Jonathan Adelstein voted against Sirius Satellite Radio's proposed takeover of XM Satellite Radio.

XM/Sirius Saga
The merger saga nears an end, with CNBC's David Faber

FCC Chairman Kevin Martin and fellow Republican Robert McDowell have both voted in favor of the deal. Democrat Michael Copps voted against it Monday.

Adelstein released a statement Wednesday: "I was hoping to forge a bipartisan solution that would offer consumers more diversity in programming, better price protection, expanded choices among innovative devices and real competition with digital radio," it read. "Instead, it appears they're going to get a monopoly with window dressing. We really missed a great opportunity to reach a bipartisan agreement that would have benefited the American people."

Last week Adelstein said he would cast a third and clinching vote approving the buyout if the companies agreed to cap prices for six years and make one-quarter of their satellite capacity available for public interest programming, among other conditions.

His proposal sought stronger concessions than the companies offered voluntarily one month ago. That offer led to Martin's recommendation that the deal be approved.

- Wire services contributed to this report.

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