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Computer Cos. Ask FCC to Hit 'Delete' On Sinclair-Tribune

Some mammoth edge providers have thrown their weight against the Sinclair-Tribune deal, citing among other things Sinclair's own potential heavyweight status in the post-spectrum auction TV station repack.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include Amazon, Facebook, and Google, weighed in at the FCC with additional input on why approving the deal is not in the public interest.

CCIA said a Sinclair-Tribune combination could better achieve what CCIA says is Sinclair's longstanding goal of delaying the repack, which would in turn delay the rollout of 5G on the broadcast spectrum being vacated in the repack for use by the wireless broadband providers that provide access to all those edge providers.

The association cited Sinclair's challenge of the 39-month FCC repack timeline and effort initially delay the auction until after the ATSC 3.0 next gen transmission standards were developed. The FCC is planning to vote this month on a framework for the ATSC 3.0 rollout.

As the "dominant" seller and buyer of broadcast equipment, said CCIA, the combined companies would be able to delay the transition. Sinclair owns antenna company Dielectric, Equipment Company Acrodyne.

CCIA also Sinclair had not made "real commitments" to create jobs, and would not be able to because of additional debt, anyway. It also claimed Sinclair had no commitment to diversity of voices, and said for all those reasons:

"This transaction means job cuts, less local investment, diminished diversity of voices, and delays for 5G deployment. These are things no Commission should approve. The facts and the law provide no basis for the Commission to allow this merger to proceed. The Commission must reject this merger."

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.