Seems the the FCC Time Clock has become a focal point in the Sirius and XM proposed merger. As we have written before, there are many things to consider regarding this subject, and what often seems to be missed is that inactivity on the time clock does not mean that nothing is happening.
It is a pretty safe bet that the FCC is very busy on issues surrounding this merger. They are likely in discussions with many parties, including Sirius and XM. One of the subjects that is sure to be on the tables are the proposed "concessions" that Sirius and XM have put onto the table. Items such as a la carte pricing, pricing caps, minority programming, etc. are all items that the public, congress, and the FCC have had on the table. One does not have to be in the loop to realistically think that these issues are being discussed in much greater depth than at the congressional hearings. It is only natural that the FCC would want more detail on these items, and that that level of detail is being provided.
The FCC time clock is leverage for the FCC. Once the clock starts, the ball is in motion. Keeping the clock in a non-start mode allows time for many discussions to happen. Further, it establishes that the FCC is considering the merger fully, and not rushing into any decision. This merger is such a hot potato that the FCC will want to be sure that all procedures are followed to the letter.
Should investors wait with baited breath for the clock to start? No, simply know that it will indeed start at some point. Personally I feel that the clock will be starting sooner rather than later (within 3 weeks). Another item for investors to watch for is the transfer of license application. This may or may not be lumped in with the merger application.
On another note, it appears that there has been no certification that Sirius and XM have fully complied with the second request from the Department of Justice. Once Sirius and XM do certify delivery of the requested materials, a 30 day clock at the DOJ can start again.
Keep your eyes peeled here for updated information as it becomes available.
Position - Long Sirius, Long XM