Last updated: February 21, 2008 - 7:04am
EXPERTS SAY NEWS CORP CAN GET ANTITRUST NOD FOR DOW
[SOURCE: Reuters, AUTHOR: Peter Kaplan and Megan Davies]
News Corp.'s proposal to buy Wall Street Journal publisher Dow Jones & Co. Inc. would be unlikely to face much opposition from U.S. antitrust and regulatory authorities. However, if the offer draws a counterbid from direct rivals to Dow Jones, there could be more questions asked by authorities. Some media and analysts speculated that a counterbid could come from organizations like Bloomberg LP, a newspaper company like the Washington Post Co. or New York Times Co., or CNBC-owner General Electric. News Corp.'s U.S. assets include the Fox television network, Fox News Channel, 20th Century Fox movie studios and the New York Post. Aside from the Wall Street Journal, Dow Jones assets include the MarketWatch Inc. financial Web site, Barron's financial weekly and Dow Jones Newswires. Antitrust experts said the companies' major assets are, for the most part, in different markets and the combination would therefore not increase concentration in any particular market. A combination of News Corp. and Dow Jones would not be in violation of FCC cross-ownership rules as the Wall Street Journal is seen as a national newspaper, not regional, said Media Access President Andrew Jay Schwartzman. Broadcast licenses in New York, where News Corp. owns both a newspaper and local stations, are up for renewal in June.
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