The U.S. Department of Justice is investigating a number of big players in the television business, including Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. and Tribune Media Co., for possible collusion in the setting of advertising rates, L.A. Biz reports.
The report cites a Wall Street Journal report, which may be behind a paywall.
WSJ reported that the DOJ is investigating whether Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Media and other independent TV station owners violated federal antitrust laws by having advertising teams communicate with each other, possibly leading to higher TV ad rates.
“The Journal reported that the possible violations were discovered during the government’s investigation of Sinclair’s $3.9 billion bid to acquire Tribune Media, a deal announced back in May 2017,” L.A. Biz reports. “That deal apparently has been scuttled, as earlier this month Federal Communications Chairman Ajit Pai said he had ‘serious concerns’ about the $3.9 billion deal. He issued a draft order calling for a hearing on the deal in front of an administrative law judge, a decision that insiders believe basically kills the deal.”