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U.S. FCC votes to loosen media ownership rules

WASHINGTON, Nov 16 (Reuters) - The U.S. Federal Communications Commission on Thursday voted to undo key roadblocks to increased consolidation among media companies, potentially unleashing new deals among TV, radio and newspaper owners as they seek to better compete with online media.

The Republican-led FCC voted 3-2 to eliminate the 42-year-old ban on cross-ownership of a newspaper and TV station in a major market and to make it easier for media companies to buy additional TV stations in the same market, and for local stations to jointly sell advertising time and for companies to buy additional radio stations in some markets. Big media companies including Tegna Inc, CBS Corp and Nexstar Media Group Inc have cited the rule change as motivating them to consider expansion opportunities. (Reporting by David Shepardson in Washington; Editing by Matthew Lewis)