FCC Blocks Liberty Media From Sirius XM ControlBy: Shawn Hess - May 7, 2012
On saturday the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) blocked 40% Sirius XM shareholder, Liberty Media from taking control of the company’s operating licenses. Liberty took control of the shares in 2009 after investing over $500 million to help the company avoid bankruptcy.
The FCC claims Liberty does not hold the proper documentation to transfer ownership, but also need to amass at least 50% ownership to gain control of sirius XM. Currently Liberty has five seats out of thirteen on the Sirius XM board of directors.
Sirius XM CEO Mel Karmazin comments on the recent play for control by Liberty Media:
“If the time comes that Liberty’s interests are different than the other 60 percent of shareholders, we will do what we have to do to protect the interest of our 60 percent of shareholders,”
Liberty’s play for control comes just after Sirius XM released their Q1 2012 report where they produced an over 10% increase in revenue year-over-year and an 8% increase in subscriptions. They also experienced a 38% increase in net income to $107.8 million.
It sounds like this is going to become an ongoing issue for Sirius XM and the other shareholders. We will keep you posted on further attempts from Liberty to gain control over Sirius XM.