Pandora Subjected to Conflicting Reports of Its Availability for Sale

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You can pick your poison this morning; either Pandora is not trying to sell itself, or Pandora is in early-stage talks with SiriusXM around an acquisition of the digital radio giant by the satellite radio giant. Those stories, from Reuters and CNBC this morning, respectively, make each little more than a zero-sum game.

"Pandora has expressed a willingness to engage to longtime suitor SiriusXM, and SiriusXM is expected to pursue a deal, the people said," reads CNBC's report .

"Pandora is making no new effort to sell itself; [company] is focused on executing its strategy and its operating model - source," reads Reuters' extremely brief story. 7557725]

The conjoining of two tech-savvy and future-thinking radio giants would, on paper, make clear sense. Each has little market overlap -- outside of car dashboards -- and complementary products that could produce a stout competitor to any given music listening business. (Recording industry stakeholders would likely hold their applause -- while Pandora has spent the last year repairing its frayed relationship with labels and artists, it is still a long way from best-friendship with them. SiriusXM, meanwhile, retains grandfathered royalty rates that no doubt still rankle those rights holders.) 

However, in addition to kissing the many, many rings in the industry through the year, Pandora has also been hard at work engineering its all-you-can-eat streaming service, the launch of which is expected to come any day now. For it to sell to any company before having some months, or a year, to fully digest the success (or failure) of that new product would be surprising from one of the most tenacious startups to come from the internet economy. 7510962]

"As a policy, we don’t comment on rumors or speculation," Pandora replied when reached for comment.

SiriusXM did not immediately respond.