Copps presses for News Corp/Dow Jones hearing


Commissioner Michael Copps is still upset about the pending 5.6 billion bucks acquisition of Dow Jones & Co. by News Corporation and is insisting that the FCC should do something about it. In a letter to Chairman Kevin Martin, Copps calls for the Commission to open an inquiry into whether News Corporation should be allowed to own one of the big four TV networks and two of the nation’s largest newspapers. Copps insists that the FCC needs to look into the implications for the New York market – never mind that the Wall Street Journal is a national newspaper with only 302K of its 1.7 million print subscribers in the New York metropolitan area. Copps wants to reexamine whether national newspapers should be counted when examining local media ownership, insisting that the precedents which concluded that they should not be were reached "with very little specific economic or legal analysis."

RBR/TVBR observation: This is absolutely idiotic! Suppose the FCC held the inquiry that Copps wants. What then? No FCC approval is needed for the Dow Jones acquisition to close. It has no authority over whether News Corporation, Google or the Government of North Korea buys Dow Jones & Co. Would the Commissioners be so ridiculous as to hold a non-binding straw poll on whether or not they want the deal to take place? It would have no more legal effect than polling the staff of RBR.