Order No. 558-73, 39 FR 7, Jan. 2, 1974, unless otherwise noted.
These regulations set forth the procedure by which application may be made to the Attorney General for his approval of joint newspaper operating arrangements entered into after July 24, 1970, and for the filing with the Department of Justice of the terms of a renewal or amendment of existing joint newspaper operating arrangements, as required by the Newspaper Preservation Act, Pub. L. 91-353, 84 Stat. 466, 15 U.S.C. 1801 et seq. The Newspaper Preservation Act does not require that all joint newspaper operating arrangements obtain the prior written consent of the Attorney General. The Act and these regulations provide a method for newspapers to obtain the benefit of a limited exemption from the antitrust laws if they desire to do so. Joint newspaper operating arrangements that are put into effect without the prior written consent of the Attorney General remain fully subject to the antitrust laws.
(a) The term Attorney General means the Attorney General of the United States or his delegate, other than the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division or other employee in the Antitrust Division.
(b) The term Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division means the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division or his delegate.
(c) The term Assistant Attorney General for Administration means the Assistant Attorney General for Administration or his delegate.
(d) The term existing arrangement means any joint newspaper operating arrangement entered into before July 24, 1970.
(e) The term joint newspaper operating arrangement means any contract, agreement, joint venture (whether or not incorporated), or other arrangement entered into between two or more newspaper owners for the publication of two or more newspaper publications, pursuant to which joint or common production facilities are established or operated and joint or unified action is taken or agreed to be taken with respect to any of the following: Printing; time, method, and field of publication; allocation of production facilities; distribution; advertising solicitation; circulation solicitation; business department; establishment of advertising rates; establishment of circulation rates and revenue distribution: Provided, That there is no merger, combination, or amalgamation of editorial or reportorial staffs, and that editorial policies be independently determined.
(f) The term newspaper means a publication produced on newsprint paper which is published in one or more issues weekly (including as one publication any daily newspaper and any Sunday newspaper published by the same owner in the same city, community, or metropolitan area), and in which a substantial portion of the content is devoted to the dissemination of news and editorial opinion.
(g) The term party means any individual, and any partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity.
(h) The term person means any individual, and any partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity.
All filings required by these regulations shall be accomplished by:
(a) Mailing or delivering five copies of each document (two copies in the case of documents filed by the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division) to the Assistant Attorney General for Administration, Department of Justice, Washington, DC 20530. He shall place one copy in a numbered public docket; one copy in a duplicate of this file for the use of officials with decisional responsibility; and (except in the case of documents filed by the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division) shall forward three copies to the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division; except that documents subject to nondisclosure orders under § 48.5 shall be held under seal and disclosed only in accordance with the provisions of that section; and
(b) Mailing or delivering one copy of each document filed after a hearing has been ordered to each party to the proceedings, along with the name and address of the party filing the document or its counsel, and filing in the manner provided in paragraph (a) of this section a certificate that service has been made in accordance herewith.
(a) Persons desiring to obtain the approval of the Attorney General of a joint newspaper operating arrangement after July 24, 1970, shall file an application in writing setting forth a short, plain statement of the reasons why the applicants believe that approval should be granted.
(b) With the request, the applicants shall also file copies of the following:
(1) The proposed joint newspaper operating agreement;
(2) Any prior, existing or proposed agreement between any of the newspapers involved, or a statement of any such agreements as have not been reduced to writing;
(3) With respect to each newspaper, for the 5-year period prior to the date of the application,
(i) Annual statements of profit and loss;
(ii) Annual statements of assets and liabilities;
(iii) Reports of the Audit Bureau of Circulation, or statements containing equivalent information;
(iv) Annual advertising lineage records;
(v) Rate cards;
(4) If any amount stated in paragraph (b)(3)(i) or (ii) of this section represents an allocation of revenues, expenses, assets or liabilities between the newspaper and any parent, subsidiary, division or affiliate, the financial statements shall be accompanied by a full explanation of the method by which each such amount has been allocated.
(5) If any of the newspapers involved purchased or sold goods or services from or to any parent, subsidiary, division or affiliate at any time during the five years preceding the date of application, a statement shall be submitted identifying such products or services, the entity from which they were purchased or to which they were sold, and the amount paid for each product or service during each of the five years.
(6) Any other information which the applicants believe relevant to their request for approval.
(c) A copy of the application and supporting data shall be open to public inspection during normal business hours at the main office of each of the newspapers involved in the arrangement, except to the extent permitted by nondisclosure orders under § 48.5; except that materials for which nondisclosure has been requested under § 48.5 need not be made available for inspection before the request has been decided.
(a) Any applicant may file a request that commercial or financial data required to be filed and made public under these regulations, which is privileged and confidential within the meaning of 5 U.S.C. 552(b), be withheld from public disclosure. Each such request shall be accompanied by a statement of the reasons why nondisclosure is required. The request shall be determined by the Attorney General who shall consider the extent to which
(1) disclosure may cause substantial harm to the applicant submitting the information, and
(2) nondisclosure may impair the ability of persons who may be adversely affected by the proposed arrangement to present their views in proceedings under these regulations. Information relevant to the financial conditions of the newspaper or newspapers represented to be failing ordinarily shall not be ordered withheld from public disclosure.
(b) Upon ordering that any documents be withheld from public disclosure, the Attorney General shall file a statement setting forth the subject matter of the documents withheld. Any person desiring to inspect the documents may file a request for inspection, identifying with as much particularity as possible the materials to be inspected and setting forth the reasons for inspection and the facts in support thereof. The request for disclosure shall be considered by the Attorney General, who shall give the applicant that submitted the documents an opportunity to be heard in opposition to disclosure. Orders granting inspection shall specify the terms and conditions thereof, including restrictions on disclosure to third parties.
(c) Documents ordered withheld from public disclosure shall be made available to the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division. If a hearing is held, the documents may be offered as evidence by any party to whom they have been disclosed. The administrative law judge may restrict further disclosure as he deems appropriate, taking into account the considerations set forth in paragraph (a) of this section.
(a) Upon the filing of the documents required by § 48.4, the applicants shall file, and publish on the front pages of each of the newspapers for which application is made, daily and Sunday (if a Sunday edition is published) for a period of one week:
(1) Notice that a request for approval of a joint newspaper operating arrangement has been filed with the Attorney General;
(2) Notice that copies of the proposed arrangement, as well as all other documents submitted pursuant to § 48.4, are available for public inspection at the Department of Justice and at the main offices of the newspapers involved; and
(3) Notice that any person may file written comments or a request for a hearing with the Department of Justice, in accordance with the requirements of § 48.3.
(b) Upon the filing of the notice required in paragraph (a) of this section, the Assistant Attorney General for Administration shall cause notice to be published in the Federal Register, and shall cause to be issued a press release setting forth the information contained therein.
(c) If a hearing is scheduled pursuant to § 48.10, the applicants shall publish the time, date, place and purpose of such hearing on their respective front pages at least three times within the 2-week period after the hearing has been scheduled (two times if the applicants are weekly newspapers), and for the 3 days preceding such hearing (one day during the week preceding the hearing if the applicants are weekly newspapers).
(a) The Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division shall, not later than 30 days from the publication in the Federal Register of the notice required by § 48.6, submit to the Attorney General a report on any application filed pursuant to § 48.4. In preparing such report he may require submission by the applicants of any further information which may be relevant to a determination of whether approval of the proposed arrangement is warranted under the Act.
(b) In his report he may state
(1) that the proposed arrangement should be approved or disapproved without a hearing; or
(2) that a hearing should be held to resolve material issues of fact.
(c) The report shall be filed, and a copy shall be sent to the applicants. Upon the filing of the report, the Assistant Attorney General for Administration shall cause to be issued a press release setting forth the substance thereof.
(d) Any person may, within 30 days after filing of the report, file a reply to the report for the consideration of the Attorney General.
(a) Any person who believes that the Attorney General should or should not approve a proposed arrangement, may at any time after filing of the application until 30 days after publication in the Federal Register of the notice required in § 48.6,
(1) File written comments stating the reasons why approval should or should not be granted, and/or
(2) File a request that a hearing be held on the application. A request for a hearing shall set forth the issues of fact to be determined and the reasons that a hearing is required to determine them.
(b) Any person may within 30 days after the filing of any comment or request pursuant to paragraph (a) of this section, file a reply for the consideration of the Attorney General.
Any of the time periods established by these Regulations may be extended for good cause, upon timely application to the Attorney General, or to the administrative law judge if one has been appointed.
(a) Upon the issuance by the Attorney General of an order for a hearing, the Assistant Attorney General for Administration shall appoint an administrative law judge in accordance with section 11 of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 3105. The administrative law judge shall:
(1) Set a date, time and place for the hearing convenient for all parties involved. The date set shall be as soon as practicable, allowing time for publication of the notice required in § 48.6 and for a reasonable period of discovery as provided in this section. In setting a place for the hearing, preference shall be given to the community in which the applicants' newspapers operate.
(2) Mail notice of the hearing to the parties, to each person who filed written comments or a request for a hearing, and to any other person he believes may have an interest in the proceeding.
(3) Permit discovery by any party, as provided in the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure; except that he may place such limits as he deems reasonable on the time and manner of taking discovery in order to avoid unnecessary delays in the proceedings.
(4) Conduct a hearing in accordance with section 7 of the Administrative Procedure Act, 5 U.S.C. 556. At such hearing, the burden of proving that the proposed arrangement meets the requirements of the Newspaper Preservation Act will be on the proponents of the arrangement. The rules of evidence which govern civil proceedings in matters not involving trial by jury in the courts of the United States shall apply, but these rules may be relaxed if the ends of justice will be better served in so doing: Provided, that the introduction of irrelevant, immaterial, or unduly repetitious evidence is avoided. Only parties to the proceedings may present evidence, or cross-examine witnesses.
(b) The applicants and the Assistant Attorney General in charge of the Antitrust Division shall be parties in any hearing held hereunder. Other persons may intervene as parties as provided in § 48.11.
(c) The Assistant Attorney General for Administration shall procure the services of a stenographic reporter. One copy of the transcript produced shall be placed in the public docket. Additional copies may be purchased from the reporter or, if the arrangement with the reporter permits, from the Department of Justice at its cost.
(d) Following the hearing the administrative law judge shall render to the Attorney General his recommendation that the proposed arrangement be approved or denied approval in accordance with the standards of the Act. The recommendation shall be in writing, shall be based solely on the hearing record, and shall include a statement of the administrative law judge's findings and conclusions, and the reasons or basis therefor, on all material issues of fact, law or discretion presented on the record. Copies of the recommendation shall be filed and sent to each party.
(e) Within 30 days of the date the administrative law judge files his recommendation, any party may file written exceptions to the recommendation for consideration by the Attorney General. Parties shall then have a further 15 days in which to file responses to any such exceptions.
(a) Any person may intervene as a party in a hearing held under these regulations if
(1) he has an interest which may be affected by the Attorney General's decision, and
(2) it appears that his interest may not be adequately represented by existing parties.
(b) Application for intervention shall be made by filing in accordance with § 48.3(a) and (b), within 20 days after a hearing has been ordered, a statement of the nature of the applicant's interest, the way in which it may be affected, the facts and reasons in support thereof and the reasons why the applicant's interest may not be adequately represented by existing parties.
(c) Existing parties may file a statement in opposition to or in support of an application to intervene within 10 days of the filing of the application.
(d) Applications for intervention shall be decided by the Attorney General.
(e) Intervenors shall have the same rights as existing parties in connection with any hearing held under these regulations.
No person shall communicate on any matter related to these proceedings with the administrative law judge, the Attorney General or anyone having decisional responsibility, except as provided in these regulations.
(a) The record on which the Attorney General shall base his decision in the event a hearing is not held shall be comprised of all material filed in accordance with these regulations, including any material that has been ordered withheld from public disclosure.
(b) If a hearing is held, the record on which the Attorney General shall base his decision shall consist exclusively of the hearing record, the examiner's recommendation and any exceptions and responses filed with respect thereto.
(a) The Attorney General shall decide, on the basis of the record as constituted in accordance with § 48.13, whether approval is warranted under the Act. In rendering his decision, the Attorney General shall file therewith a statement of his findings and conclusions and the reasons therefor, or where a hearing has been held, he may adopt the findings and conclusions of the administrative law judge.
(b) Approval of a proposed arrangement by the Attorney General shall not become effective until the tenth day after the filing of the Attorney General's decision as provided in this section.
(a) If the Attorney General concludes that one or more of the newspapers involved would otherwise fail before the procedures under these regulations can be completed, he may grant temporary approval of whatever form of joint or unified action would be lawful under the Act if performed as part of an approved joint newspaper operating arrangement, and that he concludes is:
(1) Essential to the survival of the newspaper or newspapers; and
(2) most likely capable of being terminated without impairment to the ability of both newspapers to resume independent operation should final approval eventually be denied.
(b) Upon the filing of a request for temporary approval, the applicants shall publish notice of such application on the front pages of their respective newspapers for a period of three consecutive days in the case of daily newspapers or in the next issue in the case of weekly newspapers. The notice shall state:
(1) That a request for temporary approval of a joint operating arrangement or other joint or unified action has been made to the Attorney General; and
(2) That anyone wishing to protest the application for temporary approval may do so by delivering a statement of protest or telephoning his views to an employee of the Department of Justice, whose name, address and telephone number shall be designated by the Department upon receipt of the application for temporary approval, and that such protests must be received by the Department within five days of the first publication of notice in accordance with paragraph (a) of this section.
(c) The notice required by this section shall be in addition to the notice required by § 48.6.
(d) Such temporary approval may be granted without hearing at any time following the expiration of the period provided for protests, but shall create no presumption that final approval will be granted.
Within 30 days after a renewal of or an amendment to the terms of an existing arrangement, the parties to said renewal or amendment shall file five copies of the agreement of renewal or amendment. In the case of an amendment, the parties shall also file copies of the amended portion of the original agreement.