Oprah.com Transfer Approved by FTC, Justice

OWN to assume ownership of Web property as part of Harpo Productions-Discovery Communications joint venture

The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice have given their blessing to the transfer of Oprah.com from Oprah Winfrey's Harpo Productions to OWN, the company's new joint venture with Discovery Communications.

As part of the 50/50 joint venture to create the new Oprah Winfrey Network, Discovery contributed its Discovery Health Channel, which is morphing into the new net, while Harpo contributed its Oprah.com online asset. It was that transfer that the FTC and Justice approved, according to an OWN spokesperson.

The transfer was required to be submitted for Justice and FTC pre-merger approval per a standard Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review. There is a set waiting period before the transaction can proceed, but the parties can request that the waiting period be terminated early. That request was granted June 8.

That means neither the FTC nor the Justice Department plan to file suit to block or condition that transfer.