FTC not likely to propose help for newspapers

An early report about the FTC’s review of how it might help the struggling newspaper industry says in the end the federal government will offer nothing for existing general-news publications.

After reviewing “more than a dozen ways that the government could assist newspapers,” recommendations due this fall “are likely to exclude subsidies or new taxes to support newspaper companies,” Bloomberg Businessweek says, quoting an anonymous source.

“FTC officials won’t back financial aid because Congress is unlikely to approve it, the person told Bloomberg Businessweek.com,” the report says.

The agency may recommend that the Small Business Administration expand its program to provide loans to news startups, and propose tax benefits for so-called hybrid news organizations that are modestly for-profit while avowedly pursuing the public good.

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