Journal Deal Raises Red Flag With FCC

Commission member asks if deal serves public interest
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 26, 2007 1:47 PM CDT
The Dow Jones news ticker is shown Wednesday, Aug. 1, 2007 in New York's Times Square. Rupert Murdoch has sealed a deal to buy Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co. for $5 billion, ending a century...   (Associated Press)
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(Newser) – FCC commissioner Michael Copps would like to toss a monkey wrench into News Corp.’s Dow Jones takeover, Broadcasting & Cable reports. Copps, a Democrat, yesterday called for an inquiry to determine whether the deal suits the public interest and whether current rules sufficiently cover the situation. Chairman Kevin Martin would need to open the inquiry.

The deal would give News Corp. two New York newspapers and TV stations. Companies aren’t allowed to own a newspaper and network in the same market, but as a national paper the Journal is exempt from that rule, which Martin is considering scrapping. Copps argues the commission should still “consider the public-interest implications for localism, diversity and competition.”