Washington — After months of changing the rules to potentially make the proposed Sinclair takeover of additional stations legal, the FCC announced today it was referring the merger to an administrative law judge. Chairman Pai said in a statement he had serious concerns about the legality of the proposal to add Tribune’s 42 stations to Sinclair’s more than 170 TV stations.

For 45 years, the Computer & Communications Industry Association has supported open markets and competition. CCIA filed comments in November asking the FCC to enforce its own law and block the Sinclair merger.

The following can be attributed to CCIA President & CEO Ed Black:

“We appreciate the FCC has recognized the serious legal concerns being voiced by the bipartisan opposition coming from all sides since the takeover was announced. This merger clearly was not in the public interest and clearly violates longstanding rules to protect consumers. There really was no divestiture or remedy that would work given Sinclair’s history.

We hope this review will be the beginning of the end of a proposal that was such a threat to diverse voices, local news and democracy.”

For media inquiries, please contact Heather Greenfield hgreenfield@ccianet.org

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