Thursday, May 11, 2006

Scheer: Disclose antitrust filings

Peter Scheer -- an attorney, journalist and executive director of the California First Amendment Coalition -- has written a commentary that explains what antitrust regulators will want to know about MediaNews' acquisition of Knight Ridder's Northern California newspapers, including the Mercury News. He says they'll focus on Hearst's role as a lender to MediaNews, and the implications that might have on the regional newspaper market. He also urges the three companies involved -- McClatchy, MediaNews and Hearst -- to release to the public their "pre-merger review" filings, which are submitted to the Justice Department or Federal Trade Commission before such a deal gets the government's blessing. While such filings are normally confidential, Scheer points out that newspapers are in the business of making information public -- and therefore they shouldn't make an exception now.

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