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FCC member requests formal inquiry into News Corp.-Dow Jones deal

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Washington, D.C.—Federal Communications Commission member Michael Copps has requested that FCC Chairman Kevin Martin hold a formal inquiry into News Corp.'s planned $5 billion acquisition of Dow Jones & Co., publisher of The Wall Street Journal.

In a letter sent to Martin on Thursday, Copps wrote: "Given what you have described as 'dramatic change' in the media marketplace over the past decade, I think it is essential that the FCC determine whether approval of this transaction accords with our public interest responsibilities and whether our existing media ownership rules and precedents are adequate to deal with this proposed transaction."

The deal, which is expected to close in December, would give News Corp. control of two of the nation's largest newspapers—The Wall Street Journal and New York Post—along with two TV stations in New York.

While FCC rules prohibit ownership of a local daily newspaper and a TV station in the same market, waivers have been routinely granted for companies that publish "national" newspapers.

—Matthew Schwartz

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