The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have given
their blessing to the transfer of Oprah.com from Oprah Winfrey's Harpo
Productions to OWN, the company's new joint venture with Discovery
As part of the 50/50 joint venture to create the
new Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery contributed its Discovery Health
Channel, which is morphing into the new net, while Harpo contributed its
Oprah.com online asset. It was that transfer that the FTC and Justice
approved, according to an OWN spokesperson.
The transfer was
required to be submitted for Justice and FTC pre-merger approval per a
standard Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review. There is a set waiting
period before the transaction can proceed, but the parties can request
that the waiting period be terminated early. That request was granted
That means neither the FTC nor the Justice Department plan
to file suit to block or condition that transfer.