David D. Smith

FCC questions public interest in Sinclair Broadcast's deal for Tribune

FCC questions public interest in Sinclair Broadcast's deal for Tribune

The Federal Communications Commission questioned the public interest of approving Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.9 billion deal to take over Tribune Media in a document released Thursday.

The agency said in the hearing order that Hunt Valley-based Sinclair might have tried to skirt federal broadcast ownership rules by misrepresenting buyers of TV stations it planned to shed to secure the deal’s approval.

FCC commissioners voted Wednesday to send Sinclair’s bid to acquire Tribune for review by an administrative law judge at the agency, prompted by questions over Sinclair’s plans to sell television stations in Chicago, Dallas and Houston.

“The record raises significant...

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