In a 3-2 vote the FCC has approved the XM and Sirius merger. The 16-month merger negotiations ended in a $3.6 billion buyout deal that will unite both companies and their 18 million-plus subscribers.
Republican commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate cast the tie-breaking vote late Friday, leading to the merger’s approval.
According to the Business Journal, there are some conditions to the approval: the broadcasters must freeze subscription rates for 3 years and allow subscribers to pick individual channels, known as a la carte programming, for cheaper monthly costs. XM and Sirius have to provide radios that receive signals from both broadcasters. They will also free up airwaves for community based and minority programming.
Earlier this week, Sirius and XM agreed to pay a total of $19 million in fines settling an FCC complaint.