Tribune Cancels Sinclair Buyout, Files $1 Billion Lawsuit

Trump angry with FCC chair over Sinclair deal

Trump angry with FCC chair over Sinclair deal

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has been vocal in his opposition to the deal, a stance that was criticized by Trump.

Sinclair, one of the nation's largest owners of TV stations, has become a significant outlet for conservative perspectives.

The FCC reportedly concluded that Sinclair may have misrepresented or omitted some facts in its applications in an attempt to get around the FCC's ownership rules.

According to Axios, Tribune is also filing a lawsuit against Sinclair, alleging breach of contract.

"So sad and unfair that the FCC wouldn't approve the Sinclair Broadcast merger with Tribune".

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The Federal Communications Commission questioned whether some of Sinclair's divestments were a "sham," because they were sold to parties close to the company and in agreements that would still allow Sinclair to operate the stations.

Additional reporting from Newsy affiliate CNN.

For its part. SINCLAIR followed up the TRIBUNE announcement with its own announcement that its Board of Directors has authorized a stock buyback plan of up to $1 billion for its Class A common shares. Last month, the FCC voted unanimously to subject the merger to an administrative law proceeding, a taxing and time-consuming process that was expected to kill the deal.

Under the terms of the deal, Tribune and Sinclair had the right to call off the deal without paying a termination fee if it was not completed by August 8.

Sinclair is the nation's largest local broadcaster, reaching about 4 in 10 USA households through TV stations.

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Kern said he would continue to run the company until Tribune reached a "permanent state".

"Our merger can not be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever", said Tribune CEO Peter Kern in a statement.

Tribune pointed to the same problems that the FCC found in Sinclair's proposal to divest some stations in order to stay under federal ownership limits. It would have been able to expand rapidly into numerous new markets with the Tribune acquisition.

But the merger began to stumble last month after Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai raised "serious concerns" about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70 percent of USA households. "Further delay and uncertainly would be detrimental to our company, our business partners and our shareholders, and accordingly, our board made a decision to terminate the merger agreement with Sinclair". Sinclair defended the script as a way to distinguish its news shows from unreliable stories on social media. Sinclair would have stations in Philadelphia, Washington, DC, Virginia, Indianapolis, Seattle, Sacramento, Milwaukee, Kansas City, Des Moines, Denver, Dallas, Houston, New Orleans, Memphis, Miami, Greensboro, Richmond, Des Moines, San Diego, Salt Lake City, Oklahoma City, St. Louis and more.

The Maryland company did not immediately respond early Thursday to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

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