NEW YORK and WASHINGTON — SIRIUS Satellite Radio received approval from the U.S. Department of Justice to move forward with its proposed $4.59 billion buyout of XM Satellite Radio. The two satellite radio companies must now seek approval from the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), which ruled against a merger when it first granted the two companies operating licenses in 1997.

Ending a fourth month review, the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) concluded that the merger is not anti-competitive and will allow it to proceed. The decision was based on the recognition that there are still competitors in the market in the form of mobile phones with audio capabilities, traditional radio and MP3 player.

SIRIUS and XM officials, which are urging the FCC approve the merger, said the decision will bring lower prices and increased programming choices.

Since first announcing their intentions to merge, the public reaction to the merger of SIRIUS and XM has been staggering. Representatives from every possible stakeholder group in this debate have weighed in supporting the merger.