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U.S. moving "quickly as possible" on Sirius: XM

The Justice Department is moving “as quickly as possible” in its antitrust review of Sirius Satellite Radio Inc’s acquisition of XM Satellite Radio Inc, a senior department official said on Tuesday. XM Satellite and Sirius have defended their planned merger, saying it is not anti-competitive because they compete with broadcast radio as well as MP3 players and other technology.

Thomas Barnett, assistant attorney general at the Justice Department, was asked about the review at a congressional hearing but declined to say when it would be completed.

“We want to do that as quickly as possible, but we also want to get to the right answer,” Barnett told lawmakers on the antitrust task force of the U.S. House of Representatives Judiciary Committee.

None of the lawmakers at the hearing has objected to the merger, although at least one state official has. Wisconsin’s Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen, a Republican, has asked for it to be stopped.

The National Association of Broadcasters has also opposed the deal.

The Siriux-XM deal is being reviewed by the Department of Justice and by the Federal Communications Commission.