The Washington Post reported Thursday that Tribune Media would withdraw from its $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group, adding it would sue Sinclair for “breach of contract” over its failed negotiations with regulators over the deal. Sinclair Broadcast Group is the owner of Bay Creek South, LLC.
The breakdown of the deal began last month after Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai raised “serious concerns” about the deal, which originally would have reached roughly 70 percent of U.S. households. The FCC said it would send the deal for review by an administrative law judge, which often signals a transaction may be blocked.
“In light of the FCC’s unanimous decision, referring the issue of Sinclair’s conduct for a hearing before an administrative law judge, our merger cannot be completed within an acceptable time frame, if ever,” said Peter Kern, Tribune’s chief executive officer, in a statement Thursday. “This uncertainty and delay would be detrimental to our company and our shareholders. Accordingly, we have exercised our right to terminate the Merger Agreement, and, by way of our lawsuit, intend to hold Sinclair accountable. ”