News Corp.-Heritage deal gets Justice OK

WASHINGTON — The Justice Dept. has signed off on News Corp.’s $1.3 billion deal to acquire Heritage Media Corp., the companies announced Friday.

Justice’s approval clears the way for the spinoff to Sinclair Broadcast Group of Heritage’s six TV stations and 24 radio stations. Sinclair is purchasing the broadcast properties for $630 million. Heritage Media stockholders are expected to approve the deal at a special meeting today.

News Corp. is buying Heritage Media to gain control of Heritage’s in-store coupon machines. Heritage has in-store coupon devices in 40,000 stores. News Corp. subsidiary News Corp. FSI has a similar business operating in 2,000 stores.

Heritage and News Corp. FSI currently are the only two companies providing in-store coupon devices. Through its absorption of Heritage, News Corp. FSI will eliminate its much larger rival in the category.

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