By the end of this month, satellite radio users might be getting their sports, shock jock Howard Stern and Oprah Winfrey programming from the same provider, thanks in part to a former Minnesota congressman-turned-lobbyist.
Former U.S. Rep. Vin Weber, managing partner of Clark & Weinstock, will be lobbying for the merger of the nationâ€™s only two satellite radio providers, Sirius and XM Satellite, which could get final approval as early as June 30. American Public Media hired Clark & Weinstock to lobby for the merger, which already received Department of Justice approval in March.
The merger is still waiting on a Federal Communications Commission ruling. It isnâ€™t on the agencyâ€™s June agenda, but â€œthe commission could still act by the end of the second quarter,â€ FCC Chairman Kevin Martin said in a May news conference.
The merger has come under some scrutiny in the past year from consumer groups and federal and state lawmakers who say it could cause increased prices and fewer choices for consumers. Many groups have requested provisions to the merger, including a la carte subscriptions, no price increases for three years and a return of some of the radio spectrum it occupies to other competitions.