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Television deal may be scuttled

California residents may be interested to learn that the head of the Federal Communications Commission has voiced concern about the planned $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Company by the Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. This has resulted in the possibility of the acquisition being cancelled.

The FCC chief stated that there is proof that if specific television stations were to be divested, Sinclair would have illegal control of those stations. Sinclair, which is touted as the leading television broadcast group in the United States, has yet to respond to the comments issued by the FCC chief. The proposed transaction has also received staunch criticism from several politicians. They are concerned that the deal would result in the significant consolidation of television stations.

According to a draft order released by the FCC chief, Sinclair is engaging in deception with not only its efforts to obtain Tribune, but also with the divesture of specific television stations. The draft order, which has not yet been officially released, also stated that the issue of misconduct on the part of Sinclair bears on the entire application for the acquisition. The head of the FCC has called for a hearing to be held in front of an administrative judge. According to a top aide of a former FCC official, the fact that a hearing has been set implies that the deal will not completed.

An attorney who practices business law may assist clients with handling the legal aspects of these types of complex business transactions. The attorney may advocate on behalf of clients during negotiation for contract terms, conduct due diligence and ensure that all applicable regulations are complied with.

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