A few years ago, Sirius and XM were duking it out in new car showrooms and in mobile electronics retailers for customers. The two titans of satellite radio were very similar in many respects, but each had their distinct flavor, and each seemed to have fiercely loyal customers.
Now comes news that these two satellite radio providers are looking at a merger. However, many financial and consumer electronics analysts think the FCC may not approve the merger, or if it does, it won't happen immediately. Also coming out publicly against the merger is the National Association of Broadcasters, framing it as nothing more than a "government bailout" for poor business management at the two companies.
The companies are claiming that the variety of music delivery options now available to consumers, including HD radio, mp3 players, etc., would not make the proposed satellite giant a monopoly, but may have a hard time convincing regulators.
But ultimately, if you're a fan of satellite radio, this could be positive news for you, as the companies are suggesting a la carte programming, something neither company has ever offered before. At the same time, if you have a Ford product and want XM, or a GM or Honda and want Sirius, that may now be an option available. Previously, only VW, Audi and a handful of other carmakers offered consumers the choice of either provider.
Whichever way it goes, this is shaping up to be one of the big business stories of the year.