FCC Puts News-Hughes on Public Notice


The Federal Communications Commission Friday put the proposed News Corp.
merger with DirecTV Inc. parent Hughes Electronics Corp. on public notice.

Comments are due at the FCC no later than June 16 and replies no later than
July 1.

As proposed, Rupert Murdoch's media empire would gain de facto control of
DirecTV -- the No. 1 direct-broadcast satellite carrier, with more than 11
million subscribers -- by paying $6.6 billion to own 34 percent of Hughes.

Murdoch is scheduled to testify Thursday before the Senate Commerce Committee
on media-ownership issues and the Hughes merger, a committee spokeswoman said

The FCC acts under a self-imposed 180-day deadline to
complete a merger review, although the agency reserves the right to stop the
count if problems with a merger application arise.

Merger applicants bear the burden of demonstrating that their deal would
serve the public interest.