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FCC set to approve purchase of DirecTV
Posted: Wed, Dec 3, 2003, 8:56 PM ET (0156 GMT)
The US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is expected to approve a proposed takeover of satellite television provider DirecTV by News Corporation, although with conditions to prevent the merged company from wielding too much influence. The Los Angeles Times reported Wednesday that FCC staff, in a report submitted to commissioners late Tuesday, recommended that the FCC approve News Corp's proposal to purchase a controlling stake in DirecTV for an estimated $6 billion. The report recommended adding conditions to the approval that would keep News Corp., which owns the Fox broadcast television network, Fox News, and other channels, from trying to push consumers to DirecTV by withholding those networks from cable TV providers or charging high rates for them. FCC Chairman Michael Powell would like to see the proposed merger approved by December 19, so the deal can be finalized by the end of the year, but the exact timetable for approval will depend on when all five commissioners submit their votes.
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