FCC says Murdoch must seek waiver

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The Federal Communications Commission, as expected, ruled that Rupert Murdoch's Fox network did not mislead the FCC a decade ago about its foreign-ownership when he applied to acquire six TV stations from Metromedia that formed the basis for Fox. However, the FCC determined that News Corp., which owns 99% of the equity in Fox, is not an American company and gave Mr. Murdoch 45 days to make his case that the FCC should grant him a waiver of rules prohibiting foreign companies from owning more than 25% of U.S. broadcasting companies. The FCC is expected to grant such a waiver, based on it being in the public interest. But some believe that move could open the door for a broader interpretation of the rules barring other foreign companies believed to be interested in acquiring U.S. broadcasting companies, including Seagram Co., which recently acquired MCA and is believed to be interested in CBS.

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