Whether or not XM (NASDAQ:XMSR) is ever allowed to get hitched to Sirius (NASDAQ:SIRI), it has been mending bridges and not burning them as it awaits the regulatory decision.

XM, the larger of the two satellite-radio providers, struck a settlement with Universal Music Group yesterday, ending a pesky battle that began when XM rolled out its portable Inno player.

Like a TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO), the Pioneer Inno allows subscribers to pause live programming, rewind it, and store recorded content. The music labels argued that the Inno makes it less likely that XM subscribers will purchase music if they can simply record it off the digital receiver and store it indefinitely.

Subsequent XM receivers have incorporated replay functionality, as have Sirius receivers. The difference is that Sirius made deals with the labels last year after coming under attack for its S50 player.

Vivendi's Universal is just one of the labels. One hopes that rivals such as Sony (NYSE:SNE) and Warner Music (NYSE:WMG), as well as countless independent labels, will follow Universal's lead, but this is a desperate sector. You just never know who will go bonkers.

This isn't XM's only December bridgework. Last week, the SEC concluded a probe into XM's option grants and subscriber data and, satisfied with its findings, chose to take no further action. A few days before that, XM and Sirius came to royalty-renewal terms with the Copyright Royalty Board, which will define the percentage of revenue that radio operators will pay for music over the next five years.

Sure, those royalty rates will creep from 6% to 8% through 2012, but XM and Sirius should be in better financial shape to dole out bigger checks by then.

I've got to hand it to XM. It's not just assuming that the deal with Sirius will clear. It's extending handshakes to make sure that it transforms enemies into friends, knowing full well that a dead merger would turn a friend like Sirius into an enemy again.

Here are some other recent XM stories to shake hands with:

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XM is a former recommendation of The Motley Fool Rule Breakers growth stock subscription service. Check out Rule Breakers for yourself with a free 30-day trial subscription. TiVo is a former Stock Advisor recommendation.  

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz is such a satellite-radio fan that he subscribes to both XM and Sirius. He owns shares in TiVo but in no other company mentioned in this story. He is also a member of the Rule Breakers analytical team, seeking out the next great growth stock early in its defiance. The Fool has a static-free disclosure policy.