July 18, 2018 / 12:58 PM / a month ago

Sinclair drops divestitures in bid to win Tribune merger approval

WASHINGTON, July 18 (Reuters) - Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc said Wednesday it will abandon bids to divest three stations in an effort to win approval for its $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media Co after the Federal Communications Commission chairman said he had “serious concerns about the deal.”

Sinclair said it was withdrawing pending applications to divest stations in Dallas, Houston and Chicago after FCC chairman Ajit Pai said the plan “would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law.”

Sinclair said Wednesday it believed it could now win quick approval. “We call upon the FCC to approve the modified Tribune acquisition in order to bring closure to this extraordinarily drawn-out process,” Sinclair said in a statement. (Reporting by David Shepardson, Editing by Franklin Paul)

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