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Hollings plans formal review of DOJ deal

The Senate Commerce Committee plans to formally review the decision by the
Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to divide industries
between them for the purpose of reviewing mergers, chairman Fritz Hollings
(D-S.C.) told the heads of both agencies Tuesday.

'By granting the DOJ exclusive jurisdiction over all major media outlets --
television, radio, newspapers, as well as movie theaters, production studios and
book publishers -- the agreement, in effect, has created for the DOJ complete
oversight and control of all major public information-distribution systems and
media-content producers,' Hollings wrote to assistant attorney general Charles
James and FTC chairman Timothy Muris.

'Consequently, the special role that the FTC plays in, and the unique
benefits it offers to, the enforcement process will no longer be applicable to
one of the most important industries to our democratic system of government,' he
added.

Hollings also is upset that public-interest groups did not have a role in the
process and that the agencies consulted private lawyers with interests in the
agreement.

He wants the DOJ and the FTC to hand over details of all
meetings and proceedings held regarding the agreement, as well as any documents
and memos.

Contributing editor Paige Albiniak has been covering the business of television for nearly 25 years. She is a longtime contributor to Next TV, Broadcasting + Cable and Multichannel News. She concurrently serves as editorial director for entertainment marketing association Promax. She has written for such publications as TVNewsCheck, The New York Post, Variety, CBS Watch and more. Albiniak was B+C’s Los Angeles bureau chief from September 2002 to 2004, and an associate editor covering Congress and lobbying for the magazine in Washington, D.C., from January 1997-September 2002.