House Democrats Seek New Probe of Sinclair

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Reps Frank Pallone (D-NJ) and Mike Doyle (D-PA) asked the Federal Communications Commission to investigate whether Sinclair Broadcast Group broke laws by allegedly influencing ad sales at rival Tribune Media, another potential setback in the TV station owners’ effort to merge. “An FCC investigation is warranted in light of recent reports that the Department of Justice is investigating whether the sales teams of Sinclair and Tribune were improperly coordinating regarding their advertising sales performance, resulting in higher rates,” they wrote in a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. In their letter, the Committee Democrats asked the FCC to investigate whether Sinclair violated the Communications Act, including Section 310(d), which prohibits the de facto transfer or control of a broadcast television license without FCC’s consent. The Democrats also requested that if either the FCC or DOJ find that Sinclair or Tribune engaged in illegal activity during the pending merger that the FCC should take such findings into consideration when reevaluating the companies’ broadcast licenses. 

House Democrats Seek New Probe of Sinclair Pallone & Doyle Urge FCC to Investigate Reports that Sinclair Illegally Took Control of Tribune’s Advertising Activities