One year after announcing a plan to join forces, former satellite radio competitors XM and Sirius moved one step closer to merging companies after getting approval from the U.S. Justice Department. The Dept. of Justice decided in a ruling that the merger was not "anti-competitive," as the two companies face competition from Clear Channel and Apple's iTunes software. Both companies struggled when competing against each other, with Sirius acquiring shock jock Howard Stern and the NFL while XM boasted Oprah Winfrey and Major League Baseball. Both companies plan to bump up their monthly price following the merge, but will likely also offer an "a la carte" option, allowing consumers to choose specific combinations of channels for a discounted rate. The final step in the merger, and perhaps the most difficult, is getting the approval from Howard Stern's old nemesis, the FCC.
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