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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

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

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.