US antitrust regulators yesterday cleared a $7 billion deal in which ownership of the world’s largest-selling weekly magazine, TV Guide, passes to Gemstar International.

Gemstar, in which Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp and Liberty Media each has a 20% stake, publishes electronic television guides. Management controls in excess of 10% of the company’s stock and French-owned Thomson Consumer Electronics holds 3%. The remaining stock is publicly held.

TV Guide's 10m paid weekly circulation is way ahead of its nearest rival, People magazine. But circulation has declined over the last two decades as newspaper listings - and, nowadays, web sites - have eroded its market, admitted Pete Boylan, co-chief operating officer of the new company. However, it remains "a very solid, significant business", he added.

News source: Financial Times