FCC Chief Has 'Serious Concerns' About The Sinclair-Tribune Merger

The two broadcasting companies announced their merger plans in May 2017.
Posted at 5:37 PM, Jul 16, 2018

The FCC might stop a deal to combine two media broadcasting companies.

On Monday morning, FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he has "serious concerns" about Sinclair Broadcast Group's plan to buy Tribune Media.

The two companies announced their merger in May 2017. Sinclair owns 192 TV stations and Tribune owns 42, and federal regulations won't allow the two companies to merge as-is. 

FCC rules limit how many stations broadcast groups can own in one city, and they limit how much of the national audience each company can reach.

To comply with those rules, Sinclair offered to sell a number of stations. But it appears Pai doesn't think the company's plan is good enough.

In a statement, Pai said the broadcaster's divestiture plan "would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law."

So now, the Sinclair-Tribune merger is headed for a hearing in front of an administrative law judge.