Lawmakers want FCC Chairman investigated over Sinclair-Tribune merger

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Top House Democrats are calling for the chairman of the Federal Communications Commission to be investigated over whether he has been improperly clearing regulatory hurdles for the Sinclair Broadcast Group’s pending acquisition of Tribune Media. Reps Elijah Cummings (D-MD) and Frank Pallone Jr (D-NJ), the top Democrats on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and the Commerce Committee respectively, sent a letter to the FCC inspector general, asking that he probe whether Chairman Ajit Pai has been clearing the way for the $3.9 billion deal. “We request that you examine how the FCC has conducted its business with regard to Sinclair,” wrote Ranking Members Cummings and Pallone. Their letter cites a list of deregulatory moves that the FCC has taken this year that have benefitted Sinclair in its goal of expanding its massive holdings of local television stations across the country. They asked the inspector general to probe whether “actions taken by the FCC under Chairman Pai’s leadership show a pattern and practice of preferential treatment for Sinclair." "All of these actions — when taken in context with reported meetings between the Trump Administration, Sinclair, and Chairman Pai's office — have raised serious concerns about whether Chairman Pai's actions comply with the FCC's mandate to be independent," they wrote. "We request that you examine how the FCC has conducted its business with regard to Sinclair."


Lawmakers want FCC Chairman investigated over Sinclair-Tribune merger