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FCC Chair To Push for Liberty Deal with News Corp.

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission said today he will propose that the agency approve Liberty Media's acquisition of News Corp's stake in DirecTV.

In a meeting with reporters, Kevin Martin said commissioners may vote on the deal on or before the agency's meeting scheduled meeting on Feb. 26. The acquisition, announced last year, would hand over News Corp.'s 39 percent stake in DirecTV to Liberty Media as part of a stock swap.

The meeting with reporters was Martin's second press conference in three weeks and the chairman said he would continue to hold regular meetings with media to offer more transparency in the commission's process.
Martin is currently under investigation by the House Energy and Commerce Committee, which oversees the FCC.

The committee's chairman, Rep. John Dingell (D-Mich.), last December launched an investigation of the agency, questioning whether the FCC is giving enough public access to its proposals. Dingell said other FCC members have accused Martin of withholding data in his push to expand the agency's oversight of cable television.

Dingell said in a letter last December to Martin: "I am rapidly losing confidence that the commission has been conducting its affairs in an appropriate manner."

By Cecilia Kang  |  February 8, 2008; 4:13 PM ET  | Category:  Cecilia Kang
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