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XM-Sirius merger approved by DOJ

NEW YORK– The U.S. Justice Department approved the merger between satellite radio companies Sirius and XM Monday, more than a year after the two companies first announced their deal.

In its decision, the Department of Justice had to determine whether an XM-Sirius merger was anti-competitive, or if other media companies such as Clear Channel (CCU, Fortune 500), CBS (CBS, Fortune 500), or even Apple (AAPL, Fortune 500) with its iTunes software and iPod music player served as alternate options for music and media customers.

The Federal Communications Commission must also approve the deal before it can officially be completed. The FCC has yet to make a decision on the deal, But is expected to follow the DOJ lead.

The merger would combine the nation’s only two satellite radio companies and create a company with about 14 million subscribers. It would bring together Sirius’ most well-known content, including Howard Stern and National Football League games with XM’s Major League Baseball as well programming from Oprah Winfrey.