WASHINGTON Three U.S. House of Representatives
lawmakers have come out in favor of Sirius Satellite Radio
Inc's proposed purchase of its rival XM Satellite Radio
Holdings Inc, the companies said on Thursday.
Republican Connie Mack of Florida backed the merger, as did
Democrats Joe Baca and Bob Filner of California, the two
companies said in a statement.
The Justice Department is evaluating whether the merger of
the only two U.S. satellite radio companies would hurt
competition. Congress has held hearings on the proposed deal
but has no say in the Justice Department's antitrust
On Thursday, shares of the two companies rebounded after
falling sharply late Wednesday on concerns about whether the
merger would win approval from antitrust regulators.
Democrat John Conyers of Michigan, who chairs a House
antitrust task force, and Republican Steven Chabot of Ohio sent
a letter to Attorney General Michael Mukasey earlier in the
week expressing concern that senior department officials might
intend to approve the merger over the objections of staff
In afternoon trading, Sirius was up 16 cents or 4.86
percent at $3.45 a share while XM rose 85 cents or 6.43 percent
Sirius and XM also said that General Motors Corp supported
the merger and had urged the Federal Communications Commission
to avoid putting conditions on the deal. GM installs XM
Satellite Radio in some of its vehicles. The FCC is reviewing
the deal to determine its impact on the public.
(Reporting by Diane Bartz, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)