Saturday, December 20

DirecTV: FCC Approves Murdoch - And Even Does His Lobbying For Him

I'm a DirecTV customer, and I'm just wondering if anyone finds this as appalling as I do.

FCC Approves News Corp.'s DirecTV Bid

Federal regulators Friday narrowly approved News Corp.'s $6.6-billion takeover of DirecTV but imposed conditions aimed at limiting the ability of the nation's largest satellite TV provider to dominate media markets.

In a 3-2 vote along party lines, Federal Communications Commissioner Jonathan S. Adelstein joined fellow Democrat Michael J. Copps in opposing News Corp.'s purchase of a controlling stake in DirecTV. They said more stringent conditions were needed to prevent News Corp. Chairman Rupert Murdoch — whose empire includes Fox Broadcasting, two dozen cable channels and 35 television stations in 26 cities that reach 44% of U.S. households — from squeezing or retaliating against rivals that don't play by his rules.
Here's the part I'm having trouble with:

On Friday, FCC Chairman Michael K. Powell began negotiating with Adelstein, who hadn't yet voted, in hopes of winning a bipartisan majority.

The talks lasted late into the evening, with Adelstein pushing for conditions that would require DirecTV to offer local stations in all its television markets by the end of next year. Powell rebuffed that suggestion and stuck with allowing News Corp. a longer timetable.

Still, several conditions imposed Friday had some analysts wondering just how significant a victory Murdoch had won.
This never happened to me before, but this passage deployed a set of airbags which apparently had been installed in this morning's L.A. Times. That's how much impact it had on me.

Powell negotiating with Adelstein? How much of "a victory Murdoch had won"?!? Why the HELL is the Chairman of the FCC negotiating and lobbying on behalf of Rupert Murdoch? Powell is really getting on my nerves. First, this wingnut (who mostly makes his dad look like me on the political scale) wants to give Clear Channel more power to buy more stations, now he's Murdoch's foot soldier in getting federal approval to buy out a home satellite service.

The FCC - as annoying as it's always been - at least used to make sure the little guy had a voice on the airwaves. Now it's making sure its corporate pals get (screw slices of the pie) the whole damned bakery.