FTC Approves Sinclair's Freedom Purchase - Broadcasting & Cable

FTC Approves Sinclair's Freedom Purchase

Concludes there are no anticompetitive implications in acquisition
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The Federal Trade Commission has concluded there are no anticompetitive implications to Sinclair's purchase of the Freedom Stations.

That came in an early termination notice Tuesday, which is an early ending to its Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust review of all mergers over a certain price.

Sinclair announced earlier this month it had a deal to buy the station group.

Any deal over $66 million -- Sinclair is paying $385 million -- must be submitted to FTC and Justice for antitrust review. They divvy up the reviews and, if there are problems with anticompetitive issues, file suit to block or settle on conditions and divestitures with the parties involved. The early termination means that, as far as FTC and Justice are concerned, the deal is good to go without further review.

Sinclair must also get FCC approval for the license transfers.

Sinclair has struck a couple of big deals -- it is also ponying up $200 million for Four Points Media -- in what has been a depressed market for station sales.

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