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FCC Drops Opposition on Cross-Ownership Decision


Now that former FCC Chairman Kevin Martin has left the agency, the Commission says it would not oppose the delaying of a decision on the court challenge to the agency's loosening of the newspaper/broadcast cross-ownership ban in December, 2007.

In a filing with the court, the Commission said it would no longer oppose petitions filed by public interest groups Free Press and Prometheus, among others, to hold the case in abeyance pending new FCC leadership. Under Martin, the FCC had filed a petition opposing the groups. The FCC said Thursday that the previous opposition has been withdrawn.

Commenting on the topic, Acting FCC Chairman Michael Copps hopes that at some point the Commission would review the topic again. "I think that public policy would mandate that we look at this again," Copps said, adding "I do not believe that that sends a signal that, whoopee, we should have more newspaper broadcast cross-ownership."

In late March, Copps said the discontinued daily newspapers, and the job losses they have contributed to the down economy, have also drawn the attention of Capitol Hill, prompting a letter to the Justice Department from House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA). In the letter, Pelosi also suggested that the Commission should take a broader view of competiton when it considers possible mergers.

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