News Corporation, the Murdoch-family controlled global media giant, saw its Australian-quoted shares rise 1.5% on Tuesday, signalling investors' approval of its $6.8 billion (€5.49bn; £3.85bn) acquisition of a commanding stake in America's number one satellite broadcaster DirecTV [WAMN: 23-Dec-03].

Less euphoric about the takeover were the two Democrat commissioners on the five-strong board of the Federal Communications Commission -- the US regulator whose approval was essential to the DirecTV deal.

The FCC's Republican-nominated majority, including chairman Michael K Powell, voted in favor of the NewsCorp acquisition, pushing it through by three votes to two.

Demanded angry Democrat commissioner Michael Copps: "Where's the logic - where is the public interest benefit - of giving more and more media power to fewer and fewer players?"

But even a high school student of politics could answer that one, in the run-up to next year's presidential elections.

Data sourced from: BBC Online Business News (UK); additional content by WARC staff