Pete Carey of the Mercury News today confirmed Friday’s Reuters’ report by Julie MacIntosh that said Gannett won’t bid by itself for Knight Ridder, but might work in combination with Dean Singleton (right) of MediaNews. However, MacIntosh’s report was based on “sources” while KR chief executive Tony Ridder (left) said Jan. 31 that readers shouldn’t “get carried away with rumors that appear in non-Knight ridder papers.” So while Carey, who writes for the KR-owned Mercury News, might not be first with the news, he’s the one who has been confirming reports from other news sources. But what nobody is talking about in these stories is how a Gannett-MediaNews acquistion of KR would affect the Bay Area. If Singleton’s ANG newspapers in the Bay Area (daily combined circ of 297,952) were combined with KR’s Bay Area papers (526,418), they’d surround and dominate the 512,000-circulation Chronicle. Would antitrust regulators at the Bush Department of Justice allow such a combo?