Mirkarimi resolution takes on merger deal

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[Urging the U.S. Attorney General to consider the antitrust implications of the proposed acquisition of Knight Ridder Inc. by the McClatchy Company]

Resolution urging the U.S. Attorney General to consider the antitrust implications of the proposed acquisition of Knight Ridder Inc. by the McClatchy Company

WHEREAS, On March 13, 2006 the McClatchy Company agreed to a deal to purchase Knight Ridder Inc., the second-largest newspaper company in the United States; and
WHEREAS, The McClatchy Company has announced plans to sell twelve of the Knight Ridder newspapers, resulting in the MediaNews Group gaining ownership or control of three major Bay Area newspapers: the San Jose Mercury News, the Contra Costa Times, and the Monterey County Herald, and twenty-nine other Bay Area community newspapers; and,
WHEREAS, The thirty-two newspapers that MediaNews Group would gain control of have a total daily circulation of 524,210; and,
WHEREAS, MediaNews Group would gain ownership or control over every major daily in the San Francisco Bay Area except for the San Francisco Chronicle; and,
WHEREAS, The owner of the San Francisco Chronicle-the Hearst Cooperation-is partnering with MediaNews Group in this acquisition; and,
WHEREAS, The acquisition of the Knight Ridder newspapers was apparently not opened to all qualified bidders; and,
WHEREAS, Such a consolidation of media ownership could deprive Bay Area readers of the quality and depth of news coverage that more varied ownership offers; and,
WHEREAS, The MediaNews Group’s proposed acquisitions could also hurt advertisers by a diminution of print and Internet media outlets and a likely increase in advertising rates that a single owner in the market could demand; now, therefore, be it
RESOLved, That the Board of Supervisors of the City and County of San Francisco urges the United States Attorney General and the California Attorney General to carefully consider the antitrust implications of the proposed acquisition of Knight Ridder Inc. by the McClatchy Company, and the McClatchy Company’s proposed resale of thirty-two Knight Ridder newspapers to the MediaNews Group.