Congressmen concerned about media monopolies p.19

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By: Editorial Staff

TWO MEMBERS OF Congress ? Sen. Arlen Specter (R-Pa.) and Rep. John Conyers (D-Mich.) ? have requested further inquiry into media merger deals between Disney and Capital Cities/ABC, Westinghouse
and CBS, and Gannett and Multi-
media.
Specter, chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, wrote to Assistant Attorney General for the Antitrust Division Anne K. Bingaman that he was concerned the Disney/Cap Cities-ABC and Westinghouse/CBS deals might violate antitrust laws.
“I sense a real unease in the country about mergers in the media which have already occurred, and these two new proposed mergers may signify a trend toward growing concentration which has very serious public policy ramifications,” Specter wrote.
Conyers, ranking minority member of the House Judiciary Committee, wrote to committee chairman Henry J. Hyde (R-Ill.), asking for immediate scheduling of oversight hearings “concerning the issue of competition and concentration in the media and entertainment markets.”
Conyer said it is significant “that these acquisitions are occurring at a time when a number of legal changes impacting the entertainment and media businesses appear imminent.”
The Michigan congressman added that “it seems clear that the antitrust laws will be forced to play an important role in not only safeguarding competition, but in assuring the continued existence of a wide diversity of media views as well.”

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