ibusinesslines.com
ibusinesslines.com November 19, 2018


Tribune Media files suit, terminates Sinclair tie-up deal

09 August 2018, 09:17 | Myron Mathis

Tribune Media files suit, terminates Sinclair tie-up deal

Tribune Media files suit, terminates Sinclair tie-up deal

The $3.9 billion deal would have given Sinclair control of more than 200 local television stations broadcasting to 72 percent of the United States population, and the announcement of the proposed merger in May 2017 raised concerns about Sinclair's market dominance.

Sinclair used "unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations" with the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission over regulatory requirements, the Chicago company said, and it refused to sell the stations it needed to in order to gain regulatory approval.

The FCC vote means that the "merger can not be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever", Tribune CEO Peter Kern said.

"This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders".

"Sinclair's entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the Merger Agreement and, but for Sinclair's actions, the transaction could have closed long ago", Tribune said in its lawsuit, according to the statement.

Sinclair had proposed some revisions to its divesture plan last month, but those terms left Sinclair in control of stations under scrutiny, including in Chicago.


Advocacy group Free Press said in an FCC filing in August 2017 that Sinclair forces its TV stations to "air pro-Trump propaganda and then seeks favors from the Trump administration". Tribune is seeking an amount "including but not limited to approximately $1 billion of lost premium to Tribune's stockholders and additional damages in an amount to be proven at trial".

Sinclair raised hackles in March when it had all the anchors of its daily news shows across the country recite the exact same script, which adopted the tone and rhetoric of Trump, accusing other media outlets of spreading "biased and false news". Sinclair was to have acquired Tribune for a hefty $3.9 billion price tag - in a move that would have added dozens of local stations to the roughly 200 which are already in its portfolio.

The so-called "sidecar deals" unraveled the merger's chances of approval, Tribune said, and ultimately prompted its decision to back out and file a lawsuit.

But constructing deals in such a way that would allow the company to maintain control or re-purchase them wasn't what Tribune had in mind. The Tribune deal, plus other pending acquisitions, will give Sinclair a total of 233 TV stations. The FCC declined to comment on Thursday.

Sinclair operates 192 stations, runs 611 channels and operates in 89 US markets.

The announcement brings an end to a merger that was thought to have a staunch champion in FCC Chairman Ajit Pai, whose tenure had been marked by a deregulatory agenda that had cleared out restrictions against consolidation in the media industry.



Other News

Trending Now

Transfer: Manchester United in talks to sign Chelsea defender
However, Chelsea did not want to sell the player to a direct rival and Everton appear to have won the race to sign the player. Barcelona have found Gomes an escape after a torrid time with them.

Statement from NCAA leaders on college basketball reforms
University presidents and chancellors will be held "personally accountable" for any rule-breaking by their athletic departments. This new rule aims to help highly touted high school players "make informed decisions about going pro".

Armeena Khan calls out former foreign secretary on burka comment
And Armeena Khan's not having any of it. "I do think that we all have to be very careful about the language and terms we use". Latin-spouting, tousle-headed Johnson is a former mayor of London and one of Britain's best-known politicians.

Russian Federation ready to resume full-scale dialogue with new Georgian leadership, says PM
The Prime Minister also noted that the war in Georgia in 2008 could have been avoided. He has warned against Georgia joining North Atlantic Treaty Organisation .

Mobile Introduces a Cheaper Unlimited Plan
The pricing breaks down as follows: The first line on T-Mobile Essentials costs $60 per month, while the second costs $30. As T-Mobile sees it, not all of its users need the frills and benefits of its One or One Plus plans.

United States imposes sanctions on Russian Federation over Skripal poisonings in Salisbury
While criticized as too keen to strike up a friendship with Putin, Trump maintains that he's been tough on Moscow. Secretary of State Mike Pompeo has signed off a new round of sanctions over the violation of global law.

Indonesia natural disaster : Third strong quake hits tourist island of Lombok
Aid agencies say the number is likely to increase dramatically as they gain access to the worst-hit parts of the island. It also reported a 5.4-magnitude quake at 2.21am on Tuesday, close to the site of Sunday's 6.9-magnitude quake.