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XM, Sirius Close to Settling on Radio, Transmission Violations

XM Satellite Radio and Sirius Satellite Radio are in discussions with the Federal Communications Commission over the terms of a $19 million consent decree that would settle FCC investigations into radios and transmission equipment that ran afoul of FCC rules.

That decree would be the key to securing the third vote for the merger from Republican FCC commissioner Deborah Taylor Tate.

The companies confirmed Thursday that, as part of the decree, they will agree to begin shutting down terrestrial repeaters, which the companies conceded were put in unauthorized locations.

They will also agree to adopt a compliance plan for the radios and to pay $19 million in a "voluntary contribution" -- $17 million by XM and $2 million by Sirius.

Terrestrial broadcasters have long complained about the apparent violations. The FCC launched an investigation in 2006 into the repeaters and radios, which included FM transmitters that did not comply with FCC rules.