The US Justice Department (DOJ) is investigating whether local television station owners, including Sinclair Broadcast Group and Tribune Media, violated antitrust laws, according to the Wall Street Journal.
The DOJ is examining whether local station owners coordinated efforts when their ad sales teams spoke with one another about performance—conversations that might have led to higher ad rates for TV commercials, the publication reports, citing sources.
Government investigators reportedly stumbled across the alleged practice while examining Sinclair’s proposed US$3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune. That deal was referred to an Administrative Law Judge for review last week.
A spokesman for Sinclair declined to comment saying, “It is our policy not to comment on a potential investigation… It is our understanding that this is not specific to Sinclair but focuses on the larger broadcast industry.”
Full Content: The Wall Street Journal