Reports Surface on FCC, News Corp/DirecTV Deal

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Sep 8, 2003
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As the regulatory review of News Corp.'s proposed takeover of DirecTV and Hughes enters the home stretch, the speculation is beginning to fly concerning the deal's fate.

Reuters reported Thursday that key personnel at the Federal Communications Commission have concerns about News Corp.'s takeover of DirecTV and how the deal could impact cable's access to News Corp. programming. The wire service said officials are worried News Corp. could gain the upper hand with cable operators concerning access to its broadcast and regional sports channels during contract negotiations.

Meanwhile, The Los Angeles Times reported News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch wants one of his key executives to run DirecTV. His choice for the job is Mitchell Stern, chairman and chief executive of News Corp.'s FOX Television Stations group. Stern would report to Chase Carey, picked by News Corp. to oversee Hughes and DirecTV if and when the transaction is complete.

News Corp. and DirecTV didn't respond to questions concerning the press reports.
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