The Sinclair & Tribune Merger is Now Dead

Tribune Media terminates merger agreement with Sinclair files lawsuit for breach of contract

Tribune Media Co terminated its $3.9billion deal to be acquired by Sinclair Broadcast Group and filed suit, the company said on Thursday, after regulators objected to the acquisition that had received support from US President Donald Trump.

Mike Huckabee, (R-Ark.), and FBN's Maria Bartiromo and Kristina Partsinevelos on Tribune Media terminating its merger agreement with Sinclair Broadcast Group.

Not only is it pulling out of the deal, but Tribune is suing Sinclair, arguing Sinclair's negotiations with the US Justice Department and FCC were "unnecessarily aggressive". "Unfortunately, Sinclair choose to follow a regulatory strategy reflecting its own self-interests, rather its contractual obligations", Kern said.

In its statement, Tribune said, "Sinclair's entire course of conduct has been in blatant violation of the merger agreement and, but for Sinclair's actions, the transaction could have closed long ago".

FCC Chairman in July expressed "serious concerns" over the deal, saying Sinclair would still control the stations it divested in practice.

"In the Merger Agreement, Sinclair committed to use its reasonable best efforts to obtain regulatory approval as promptly as possible, including agreeing in advance to divest stations in certain markets as necessary or advisable for regulatory approval", Tribune said in its announcement. Last month, the FCC voted unanimously to subject the merger to an administrative law proceeding, a taxing and time-consuming process that was expected to kill the deal.

President Trump blasted the FCC for not approving the merger, writing in a tweet that Sinclair and Tribune together "would have been a great and much needed Conservative voice". When the FCC shelved the deal, Trump said it was "So sad and unfair" that the agency in his administration wouldn't give its approval.

Approval of the merger was widely considered inevitable because Trump's FCC chairman, Ajit Pai, is notoriously anti-regulation and pro-merger, and had rolled back ownership rules for broadcast media companies past year in a manner that seemingly paved the way for the deal. "Further delay and uncertainly would be detrimental to our company, our business partners and our shareholders, and accordingly, our board chose to terminate the merger agreement with Sinclair".

Tribune formally shut down the deal on the same day it announced its quarterly earnings.

Tribune withdrew from its $3.9 billion buyout by Sinclair, ending a bid to create a massive media juggernaut that could have rivaled the reach of Fox News.

The Maryland company did not immediately respond early Thursday to a request for comment from The Associated Press. The company that grew out of those ventures enjoyed explosive growth in the 1990s, particularly after the Telecommunications Act of 1996 eased media ownership rules.