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McClatchy (MNI) got a Justice Department request for additional information on its planned acquisition of Knight-Ridder( KRI).

The Sacramento-based newspaper company says the government wants information about papers in Minnesota.

McClatchy is owner of the

Star Tribune

in Minneapolis, and with the Knight-Ridder deal it gains control of the

Pioneer Press

in nearby St. Paul.

"The scope of the DOJ's request is limited to information concerning the Minneapolis -- St. Paul, Minnesota area. McClatchy has previously announced its intention to divest the

St. Paul Pioneer Press

newspaper, currently owned by Knight-Ridder Inc., to a third party," a company statement read.

It added that a second request extends the waiting period under the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Act.

Knight-Ridder, the publisher of the

Philadelphia Inquirer


Miami Herald

, agreed to sell itself to smaller rival McClatchy for $4.5 billion in cash and stock last month. McClatchy said it would try to sell 12 of the 32 papers involved in the deal.

"This represents a step forward in our effort to close our deal with Knight Ridder in a timely manner," said McClatchy lawyer Karole Morgan-Prager. "We are delighted that the Department of Justice review confirms our belief that there would be no antitrust concerns other than in the twin cities of Minneapolis and St. Paul, where we intend to sell the

Pioneer Press

to remove any concern."

McClatchy shares traded down 7 cents to $44.71 on Wednesday.