So ever since XM and Sirius even mentioned the possibility that they might be merging they have had to battle the FCC, the NAB, and Clear Channel to the death. Well apparently they got past the FCC (sort of) and past the NAB and now their last opponent is Clear Channel.
Basically the biggest issue is that up until now terrestrial radio services (AM/FM) haven’t really seen satellite radio as too much of a threat, but now they are worried that if the two companies merge they’ll actually have to earn their audience again. But Clear Channel isn’t dead set against the merger, in fact with some conditions they are more or less ok with it, those being as follows: first, the FCC should cut the amount of spectrum available to the new satellite radio giant that would be formed, second, they should bar them from getting into local broadcasting, so that at least local radio stations will still be needed for local news, traffic, and weather, and third, they require the company to start integrating HD Radio receivers into all of their receivers.
That last one is the one that interests me the most, because I’d love to see HD Radio get some widespread distribution and integrating it into satellite radio receivers would definitely get that done and would be a value added feature for the satellite receivers prompting current subscribers to upgrade and likely prompting a wave of new customers. That third point is also being backed by iBiquity Digital who develops HD Radios and the HD Radio Alliance who is obviously a major proponent of HD Radio.