XM and Sirius Rocking Outside the Chapel

Every day is a stay of execution for XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR  ) and Sirius Satellite Radio  (Nasdaq: SIRI  ) .

At least, that's what Goldman Sachs analyst Mark Wienkes seemed to imply in a note this morning, suggesting that every passing day makes it less likely that the Department of Justice will block their proposed merger.

And don't go thinking that Wienkes is a blind bull. He actually has sell ratings on the sector. A merger may create a near-term uptick in shares of both companies, but he feels that the synergies are overblown in a sector that will be challenged to turn a profit in the coming years.

I guess we'll need to see that merger go through first. Next week will mark the one-year anniversary of the deal between the two satrad providers. Regulators have certainly taken their sweet time on this one.

On paper, it's easy to argue that the combination of the only two licensed satellite radio operators would be monopolistic. However, satellite radio itself has been challenged, as automakers add HD radio receivers and audio jacks that allow drivers to bypass satellite radio subscriptions in favor of plugging in their Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) , Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) , or SanDisk (Nasdaq: SNDK  ) players. Even cell phones are now music depositories, with music subscription services like Napster (Nasdaq: NAPS  ) and RealNetworks' (Nasdaq: RNWK  ) Rhapsody making digital music truly portable.

Now that even the bears seem to agree that coming together is an inevitable reality, it's about time to make that an actual reality. So, sure, every day is a stay of execution, but now it's time for that execution to take place in the form of executing a deal that we've been waiting on for a year now.

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