The accelerating trend by major US newspapers publishers to buy into local press has attracted the attention of the US Department of Justice.

The latest potential purchase to come under scrutiny is Gannett Corporation's bid for HomeTown Communications Network, a community publisher based in the Midwest.

Gannett, the nation's largest newspaper company which produces USA Today and 100 other local daily papers, is reported to be under antitrust investigation.

The Justice Department is also studying the New York Times Company's proposed purchase of 49% of Boston freebie Metro Boston [WAMN: 06-Jan-05].

The move by the NYTC, owner of the Boston Globe, is fiercely opposed by local rival, the Boston Herald, which wrote to the department claiming the deal could lead to a monopoly in the city's newspaper market.

Data sourced from USA Today Online; additional content by WARC staff