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Sirius CEO Repeats XM Deal To Yield Lower Prices

Sirius Satellite Radio Chief Executive Mel Karmazin on Tuesday reiterated his contention that a planned combination with rival XM Satellite Radio Holdings will mean lower prices for subscribers.

In a statement detailing his planned testimony before a U.S. Senate committee today, Karmazin said: "The merger will allow us to lower prices. Consumers who want fewer channels than currently offered will be able to select one or more packages of channels for less than $12.95 per month."

Sirius plans to buy XM in an all-stock deal that was worth $4.6 billion when it was announced in February. The merger has been criticized by some U.S. lawmakers and consumer groups as anti-competitive.

At the hearing, broadcast over the Internet, Gene Kimmelman, a vice president of Consumers Union, spoke in opposition to the deal, saying it may lead to further consolidation of media properties in the hands of a few dominant players.

Sirius shares fell 2% on Tuesday after closing Monday's trading session at a 52-week low of $3.04.