This week in tech kicked off with the Feds (finally) giving a boost to satellite radio.

Tuning in a merger
On Monday, The Wall Street Journal reported that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin was on the verge of approving the proposed merger between XM Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: XMSR) and Sirius Satellite Radio (Nasdaq: SIRI).

It's about freaking time.

There are, of course, conditions: caps on subscription fees and a licensing program to allow third parties to build receivers, for example. None of the caveats appear to spell doom. To the contrary; lower subscription fees could induce newbies to try satellite radio.

Or not. Bearish analyst Mark Wienkes this week lowered his price targets for both companies. For XM, his new bull's-eye is $6.50 per share. What's interesting here is the math, Foolish colleague Rick Munarriz writes: If you assume a deal will get done, XM's floor should be right around $8.

Perhaps an arbitrage opportunity is forthcoming?

All hail the iPod!
Who says the iPod, whose unit sales were up just 1% in the latest quarter, is dead?

Apple (Nasdaq: AAPL) yesterday announced that its iTunes Store has sold its 5 billionth song, just 3.5 months after crossing the 4 billion barrier. 

Wait, it gets better. Apple also says that it is selling and renting more than 50,000 movies per day. No doubt Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) is still the king of couch cinema, but aren't you impressed? Movie sales and rentals could soon be a $100 million business for Apple, according to media analyst Cynthia Brumfield.

More digital news from this week that you can use:

  • Shares of Motorola (NYSE: MOT) hit a five-year low; Fool Dave Mock and I debated the chances of the iPhone catching on in the enterprise world. (Follow the links for the pro and con arguments.)
  • Sprint Nextel (NYSE: S) teamed with Samsung to introduce the new "Instinct" smartphone, which it claims could be an iPhone killer. Don't bet on it.
  • Netflix dumped Profiles, which allows subscribers to split up an account into several queues for individual family members. The result? Less data and, very likely, less accurate recommendations. Dumb.
  • Downloads of version 3 of Firefox started slow but ended strong. More than 8 million took a chance on the new browser.

And that's it for this week in tech. See you back here next Friday, and in the meantime, Fool on!

Fool contributor Tim Beyers didn't own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this article at the time of publication. He's a member of the Rule Breakers team.

Apple and Netflix are Stock Advisor selections. Sprint Nextel is an Inside Value pick. Try either of these market-beating services risk-free for 30 days. The Motley Fool's disclosure policy tangled with tech and won.