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"Komsomolskaya pravda" (ITAR-TASS)
November 22, 2006 -- The media holding of Russia's state-controlled gas monopoly, Gazprom, plans to buy the country's most widely read newspaper, "Komsomolskaya pravda."
Nikolai Senkevich, the head of Gazprom-Media, said on November 21 that the company expects to complete the deal by early next year.
Gazprom-Media already owns Russia's biggest private television station, NTV, the "Izvestiya" daily, and numerous other media outlets.
"Komsomolskaya pravda" is currently owned by Prof-Media, the media-holding arm of oligarch Vladimir Potanin's Interros group. Prof-Media sold "Izvestiya" to Gazprom-Media in 2005.
Critics say the Kremlin is seeking to squeeze media freedoms by bringing major media outlets under the control of state-run companies.