Unholy Stern/Winfrey Union Wins Justice Dept. Approval
The U.S. Justice Department has managed the impossible. It’s brought Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey together under a single aegis.
This morning the DOJ approved the merger of satellite radio companies Sirius Satellite Radio (SIRI) (home to Stern) and XM Satellite Radio (XMSR) (home to Winfrey), a move that will create a satellite radio company with about 14 million subscribers.
In a statement, the DOJ said it found no reason to think that combining the only two satellite radio players in the market would create a pay-radio monopoly. “After a careful and thorough review of the proposed transaction, the division concluded that the evidence does not demonstrate that the proposed merger of XM and Sirius is likely to substantially lessen competition, and that the transaction therefore is not likely to harm consumers,” the DOJ explained.
“The Division reached this conclusion because the evidence did not show that the merger would enable the parties to profitably increase prices to satellite radio customers for several reasons, including: a lack of competition between the parties in important segments even without the merger; the competitive alternative services available to consumers; technological change that is expected to make those alternatives increasingly attractive over time; and efficiencies likely to flow from the transaction that could benefit consumers,” said the DOJ.