XM/Sirius: And the Wait Goes On

As they wait for regulatory approval of their merger, both XM and Sirius said on Friday that they will keep their merger agreement intact through at least May 1.

Each company had a right to terminate the deal if regulatory approvals were not given by last week. The Federal Communications Commission and antitrust staff at the Justice Department are scrutinizing the deal.

As of today, the XM/Sirius merger is in its 377th day. How does that compare with other mega deals that waited for regulatory approval?

According to the latest issue of The BRIDGE, that's 29 days longer than it took the Justice Department to approve the Chevron/Texaco deal; 45 days more than the time needed for regulators to nix the EchoStar/DIRECTV merger; 60 days more than giving the OK to AT&T/Bellsouth; 72 days more than Google/DoubleClick and 140 days more than Sprint/Nextel.

After swimming through all that, Heritage Foundation senior analyst James Gattuso was quoted by TechNewsWorld: "Rumors of imminent action at DOJ have frequently made the rounds: The DOJ is going to approve the deal, the DOJ is going to reject the deal, the DOJ is going to attach conditions on the deal. I'm half-expecting to read that the DOJ's dog ate the files on the deal."