One of two Democrats on the Federal Communications Commission called Thursday for the agency to review News Corp.'s pending deal to acquire Dow Jones & Co.
Commissioner Michael J. Copps wrote to FCC Chairman Kevin J. Martin, a Republican, saying the deal would create a company with “enormous influence over politics, art, and culture across the nation and especially in the New York metropolitan area.”
Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp. controls Fox Broadcasting and the New York Post, which has the eighth-largest circulation among the nation’s newspapers. The acquisition of Dow Jones would add the Wall Street Journal, the second-largest-circulation newspaper. News Corp. also owns two TV stations in the New York market.
Several Democrats, including presidential candidates John Edwards and Sen. Christopher J. Dodd (D-Conn.), have raised concerns about the additional media clout the deal would give Murdoch. Although FCC rules prohibit the ownership of a TV station and newspaper in the same market, Murdoch has waivers in New York and the agency has said in the past that the ban does not apply to nationally circulated newspapers like the Journal.
Copps said those precedents were outdated and the media power News Corp. would wield if it acquired the Journal merited FCC review. He asked Martin to open a formal proceeding to examine the deal’s implications for the national and New York markets.
A spokeswoman for Martin declined to comment.