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Pandora faces FCC setback in bid for South Dakota FM radio station

on January 16, 2014

Gigaom

The Federal Communications Commission has temporarily shot down online music service Pandora’s(s p) bid to take over  a terrestrial radio station after finding the company’s application did not overcome foreign ownership hurdles.

As Billboard reports, the FCC has sent Pandora a letter saying it has stopped processing its application because the company failed to demonstrate that enough of its shareholders are American (agency rules limit foreign nationals’ ownership of radio and TV stations).

The FCC decision for now halts Pandora’s quest to take over KXMZ-FM in Box Elder, South Dakota. The small town radio station, which plays “today’s best hits,” has become an improbable flashpoint between Pandora and music licensing agency ASCAP, which is urging the FCC to reject the application.

Pandora, which reaches around 70 million listeners over the internet, is seeking to buy the station as part of a publicity campaign to call attention to unequal rules that…

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