Martin urges FCC approval of DirecTV dea


WASHINGTON -- FCC chairman Kevin Martin is urging his commission colleagues to approve the deal that will give Liberty Media control of DirecTV.

Martin told reporters Friday that he is circulating a proposal that the FCC can vote on during its regular meeting this month that would allow the transfer of control of DirecTV from Rupert Murdoch's News Corp. to John Malone's Liberty Media.

The approval will include conditions like the program access requirements the commission put in place when they allowed News Corp. to buy DirecTV from the Hughes division of General Motors.

Another condition would force Malone to divest the cable operation he has control of in Puerto Rico, Martin said.

Under the deal, Malone will give up Liberty's 16.3% stake in News Corp., pay $550 million in cash and give three regional sports networks to News Corp.

The U.S. Justice Department also has to approve the deal.