News

NCTA Won't Contest News Corp.-DirecTV

4/11/2003 11:02 AM Eastern

Cable respects News Corp. chairman Rupert Murdoch as a tough competitor, but
the industry is unlikely to seek government conditions on Murdoch's proposed
takeover of DirecTV Inc.

For many years, the National Cable & Telecommunications Association has
refrained from seeking conditions on mergers involving broadcasting and phone
companies, even though doing so might have given cable a competitive
advantage.

Although DirecTV in Murdoch's hands scares some in cable, the NCTA is
unlikely to lead a merger-opponent group at the Federal Communications
Commission, the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission.

Still, the proposed merger is expected to get a thorough scrubbing by
Congress and regulators. Murdoch was to meet Friday with Rep. Billy Tauzin
(R-La.), the House Energy and Commerce Committee chairman.

"Given the size of the proposed deal, as well as its impact in the
marketplace, chairman Tauzin wants to talk to Murdoch and [General Motors Corp.
CEO] Rick Wagoner before passing judgment," Tauzin spokesman Ken Johnson
said.

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