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AG Holder to Consider Relaxing Newspaper Anti-Trust Laws

citizen-kane.jpgSeems that while the government is in a intervening mood they are going to direct some of their energy to the newspaper industry. Nervous yet? Attorney General Eric Holder is considering relaxing anti-trust laws to make it easier for newspapers to merge or combine operations.

Says Holder: “I think it’s important for this nation to maintain a healthy newspaper industry. So to the extent that we have to look at our enforcement policies and conform them to the realities that that industry faces, that’s something that I’m going to be willing to do…I’d like to think 20, 30, 40 years from now people will still be reading the newspaper.”

Right. Well, newspaper dreamworld aside, it seems pretty clear that the “realities” facing the newspaper industry right now are that people are no longer reading newspapers, and will be reading them even less six months from now, let alone 20 years. Will relaxing anti-trust laws somehow prevent that? Probably not. One can imagine what it might do, however, is somehow run amok where the Internet is concerned, in heretofore unforeseen ways, until Google owns all the news everywhere. If nothing else, the last six months should have taught us that too much government interference is probably something best avoided.

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