Today Sinclair announced that they are canceling plans to sell three stations to third parties who have ties to Sinclair. This comes shortly after FCC Chairman Ajit Pai said he had concerns that Sinclair had planned to sell the station to companies Sinclair had partnerships with.
These stations include KDAF in Dallas, KIAH in Houston, and WGN TV. According to reports, Sinclair now plans to put KDAF and KIAH into a trust so they can sell to a new buy who does not have any ties to Sinclair. Sinclair plans to hold onto WGN.
This should help clear the way for the FCC to approve the deal, but it is far from done. The FCC may still ask for additional station sales or other conditions to approve the merger.
This back and forth is nothing new and typical for sales like this. When Comcast merged with NBCUniversal there was a long list of rules and limitations put on Comcast. The DOJ also tried to put similar limitations on the AT&T Time Warner merger but lost in court and is now appealing the ruling.
What we can say is Sinclair seems willing to make changes to address FCC concerns.
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