Speaking at the Convergence 2.0 Conference in New York yesterday, Sirius
"Regarding XM -- would we like to buy them? Sure," he said, before discounting his own words by bringing up the likelihood of the FTC squashing the deal even if the two companies were to agree on terms of a union.
Sirius and XM are a duopoly in satellite radio, and the government is just not going to let them team up to form a monopoly. Four years ago, those same regulators didn't let DirecTV
This doesn't mean that Sirius and XM will remain independent forever. It's just that a merger is likely to involve a larger media player. DirecTV and Dish parent EchoStar are possible suitors. And they already have alliances; DirecTV offers XM music channels on its service and EchoStar features Sirius audio streams.
DirecTV, EchoStar, and News Corp. would have plenty to gain by gobbling up one of the two fast-growing satellite radio upstarts, and that alone may persuade more conventional media conglomerates like Comcast
If it does happen, it's likely to happen sooner rather than later. If XM and Sirius hit their mark and start producing positive operating cash flow in a few quarters, a lot of the bearish sentiment that has been marinating the stocks in recent months will evaporate. Prices will start inching higher, creating less of an incentive for XM and Sirius to cash out, and the potential acquirers may not be willing to pay those higher prices.
Wedding bells may happen. Just don't expect it to be XM and Sirius walking down the altar holding hands. They would never get through that pesky "is there anyone here today that has reason to believe that these two should not be wed" part.
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Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is a Sirius and XM subscriber, but he does not own shares in any of the companies mentioned in this story. T he Fool has a disclosure policy. Rick is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early.