Univision Hits a Wall

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Last week's expected approval of the Univision Communications Inc./Hispanic Broadcasting Corp. merger
was delayed by stinging Democratic dissents and their Republican counterparts'
last-minute need to address them.

The merger's go-ahead is expected to be announced early this week.

A Sept. 11 Wall Street Journal story revealing extensive details of
dissents -- centered on their belief that Spanish-language media should be
considered a separate market -- generated heavy speculation among Washington
telecommunications lawyers that the Democrats violated Federal Communications Commission
protocol by leaking internal documents prior to official merger approval.

The leak appeared timed to the day Senate debate opened on a "legislative
veto" of the FCC's new media-ownership rules.

The merger is snared in the larger debate over media concentration because it
combines the country's largest Spanish-language TV and radio
groups.

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