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Congressional declaration of policy.
Antitrust exemptions.
Reinstatement of joint operating arrangements previously adjudged unlawful under antitrust laws.


§1801. Congressional declaration of policy

In the public interest of maintaining a newspaper press editorially and reportorially independent and competitive in all parts of the United States, it is hereby declared to be the public policy of the United States to preserve the publication of newspapers in any city, community, or metropolitan area where a joint operating arrangement has been heretofore entered into because of economic distress or is hereafter effected in accordance with the provisions of this chapter.

(Pub. L. 91–353, §2, July 24, 1970, 84 Stat. 466.)

Short Title

Pub. L. 91–353, §1, July 24, 1970, 84 Stat. 466, provided that: "This Act [enacting this chapter] may be cited as the 'Newspaper Preservation Act'."


Section 6 of Pub. L. 91–353 provided that: "If any provision of this Act [enacting this chapter] is declared unconstitutional, or the applicability thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid, the validity of the remainder of this Act, and the applicability of such provision to any other person or circumstance, shall not be affected thereby."

§1802. Definitions

As used in this chapter—

(1) The term "antitrust law" means the Federal Trade Commission Act [15 U.S.C. 41 et seq.] and each statute defined by section 4 thereof [15 U.S.C. 44] as "Antitrust Acts" and all amendments to such Act and such statutes and any other Acts in pari materia.

(2) The term "joint newspaper operating arrangement" means any contract, agreement, joint venture (whether or not incorporated), or other arrangement entered into by two or more newspaper owners for the publication of two or more newspaper publications, pursuant to which joint or common production facilities are established or operated and joint or unified action is taken or agreed to be taken with respect to any one or more of the following: printing; time, method, and field of publication; allocation of production facilities; distribution; advertising solicitation; circulation solicitation; business department; establishment of advertising rates; establishment of circulation rates and revenue distribution: Provided, That there is no merger, combination, or amalgamation of editorial or reportorial staffs, and that editorial policies be independently determined.

(3) The term "newspaper owner" means any person who owns or controls directly, or indirectly through separate or subsidiary corporations, one or more newspaper publications.

(4) The term "newspaper publication" means a publication produced on newsprint paper which is published in one or more issues weekly (including as one publication any daily newspaper and any Sunday newspaper published by the same owner in the same city, community, or metropolitan area), and in which a substantial portion of the content is devoted to the dissemination of news and editorial opinion.

(5) The term "failing newspaper" means a newspaper publication which, regardless of its ownership or affiliations, is in probable danger of financial failure.

(6) The term "person" means any individual, and any partnership, corporation, association, or other legal entity existing under or authorized by the law of the United States, any State or possession of the United States, the District of Columbia, the Commonwealth of Puerto Rico, or any foreign country.

(Pub. L. 91–353, §3, July 24, 1970, 84 Stat. 466.)

References in Text

The Federal Trade Commission Act, referred to in par. (1), is act Sept. 26, 1914, ch. 311, 38 Stat. 717, as amended, which is classified generally to subchapter I (§41 et seq.) of chapter 2 of this title. For complete classification of this Act to the Code, see section 58 of this title and Tables.

§1803. Antitrust exemptions

(a) Joint operating arrangements entered into prior to July 24, 1970

It shall not be unlawful under any antitrust law for any person to perform, enforce, renew, or amend any joint newspaper operating arrangement entered into prior to July 24, 1970, if at the time at which such arrangement was first entered into, regardless of ownership or affiliations, not more than one of the newspaper publications involved in the performance of such arrangement was likely to remain or become a financially sound publication: Provided, That the terms of a renewal or amendment to a joint operating arrangement must be filed with the Department of Justice and that the amendment does not add a newspaper publication or newspaper publications to such arrangement.

(b) Written consent for future joint operating arrangements

It shall be unlawful for any person to enter into, perform, or enforce a joint operating arrangement, not already in effect, except with the prior written consent of the Attorney General of the United States. Prior to granting such approval, the Attorney General shall determine that not more than one of the newspaper publications involved in the arrangement is a publication other than a failing newspaper, and that approval of such arrangement would effectuate the policy and purpose of this chapter.

(c) Predatory practices not exempt

Nothing contained in the chapter shall be construed to exempt from any antitrust law any predatory pricing, any predatory practice, or any other conduct in the otherwise lawful operations of a joint newspaper operating arrangement which would be unlawful under any antitrust law if engaged in by a single entity. Except as provided in this chapter, no joint newspaper operating arrangement or any party thereto shall be exempt from any antitrust law.

(Pub. L. 91–353, §4, July 24, 1970, 84 Stat. 467.)

§1804. Reinstatement of joint operating arrangements previously adjudged unlawful under antitrust laws

(a) Notwithstanding any final judgment rendered in any action brought by the United States under which a joint operating arrangement has been held to be unlawful under any antitrust law, any party to such final judgment may reinstitute said joint newspaper operating arrangement to the extent permissible under section 1803(a) of this title.

(b) The provisions of section 1803 of this title shall apply to the determination of any civil or criminal action pending in any district court of the United State 1 on July 24, 1970, in which it is alleged that any such joint operating agreement is unlawful under any antitrust law.

(Pub. L. 91–353, §5, July 24, 1970, 84 Stat. 467.)

1 So in original. Probably should be "States".