XM/Sirius Merger: What About Canada?

As Sirius and XM prepare to close their merger, lobbying the Federal Communications Commission for a final regulatory OK, some attention has been focused on the company's efforts north of the border.

Both XM and Sirius have operations in Canada. While Sirius Canada was quiet about the news this week that the U.S. Justice Department cleared the satellite radio combination, XM Canada said in a statement the decision will have no immediate impact on its service.

"We have a strong business model in Canada and are committed to an aggressive growth strategy aimed at increasing our subscriber base and delivering outstanding programming across the country," said Michael Moskowitz, president and CEO of XM Canada.

"We will diligently review any opportunity that arises from this decision and evaluate the impact on our economic positioning and the benefit derived for our customers and shareholders," Moskowitz added.

According to press accounts from Canada, it's unlikely that the nation's communications regulators would challenge a merger since one company could simply relinquish its broadcasting license while the other continues to operate under a combined brand and service.

At issue for some in Canada, however, would be the market valuation of the satellite radio entities once a deal is complete. Privately held Sirius Canada has held an advantage in subscriber numbers and retail sales, but XM Canada has exclusive coverage of NHL games and key deals with top automakers.