The deal would have created a local TV giant seeing Sinclair gaining access to nearly two-thirds of U.S. TV households, reports the Hollywood Reporter. But Tribune Media called off Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.9 billion takeover after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai raised serious concerns about how Sinclair planned to divest certain TV stations to comply with ownership limits, but still keeping those same stations under their control. Announcing the news, Tribune CEO Peter Kern said:
“In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable timeframe, if ever. This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the Merger Agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable.”
Tribune Media is also seeking damages from Sinclair. It is also expected Tribune Media will continue seeking a buyer for its 42 local television stations.