Liberty Media has boosted its stake in Sirius XM Radio Inc. from 40 percent to 45.2 percent in the latest salvo in a battle for control of the satellite radio service, the Los Angeles Times’ Company Town blog reports.
In a conference call with analysts May 8, Liberty Media Chief Executive Greg Maffei said his company has a contract in place with undisclosed parties to buy 302 million shares of SiriusXM for $650 million.
In March, Liberty asked the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) for control of SiriusXM’s operating licenses, arguing that its 40 percent ownership, along with five out of 13 seats on the board, gave it “de facto” control. On May 4, the FCC dismissed Liberty’s request. The question now is whether a 45.2 percent stake will change the minds of FCC commissioners in the event Liberty exercises its option to amend its request by June 4.