XM Satellite, WCS Wireless abandon merger

XM Satellite and WCS Wireless abandoned their agreement that called for XM to buy WCS and its wireless spectrum licenses because they were unable to receive regulatory approvals for the deal. The two reached a deal in July 2005 for a stock acquisition valued at $195 million that would have given XM Satellite spectrum in the 2.3 GHz band. But a lot of groups objected to the idea, including the Wireless Communications Association International, Sirius Satellite Radio and the National Association of Broadcasters. Radio broadcasters were up in arms because the addition of WCS to XM Satellite's business would have meant the satellite radio operator would receive terrestrial radio capability, allowing it to compete with local over-the-air radio. The WCA argued that a pending waiver that would allow WCS Wireless to operate at higher power levels in the 2.3 gigahertz band shouldn't be transferred to XM.

"With the inability to obtain the necessary government approval for this transaction in a timely manner, WCS Wireless needed to pursue alternatives for its spectrum with greater certainty of regulatory support," said Gary Parsons, XM's board chairman. WCS' spectrum assets cover 163 million people in the U.S.

For more about the abandoned XM Satellite and WCS Wireless deal:
- read this release from XM Satellite