XM and Sirius, those two wacky satellite-radio companies, today got the green light to merge into one giant supercompany thanks to a thumbs-up from the Department of Justice. The pair have been talking about a merger for a while now, and today's decision represents an important leap forward, though they still need approval from the FCC before they can go ahead with it. No word on when that's going to happen, but the DoJ's stamp of approval should put some pressure on the FCC to step up to the plate.
While it seems anticompetitive to let the only two satellite-radio companies in the U.S. merge into a single entity, the DoJ found that they didn't really compete with each other in the same way as, say, Pepsi and Coke, since very few people were switching between the services. Not sure if I buy that logic, but I do acknowledge that neither company has shown a profit (don't believe me? Check their books) and they sell basically the same services, so why not let them get married? As my colleague Leslie Shapiro said in her column on the merger, we're all going to be listening to our iPods anyway.