FTC Clears Sinclair Purchase of Fisher Stations

The Federal trade Commission has no antitrust issues with
Sinclair Broadcasting's purchase of Fisher Communications.

Sinclairsaid in March it had agreed to buy the Fisher's 20 TV stations for $373.3

The FTC Thursday granted the deal early termination, which means
that it found no reason to seek conditions on or try to block the transfer.

The FCC has not yet approved the license transfers.
According to an FCC spokesperson, the deal has a week and a half more on public
notice. The commission allows for a certain period of time for the public to
weigh in on the deal before it makes a decision.

The FTC (or Justice, they divide up the
oversight) vets the deal for antitrust concerns, while the FCC goes beyond to
look at public interest considerations as well as competition issues. An FTC or
DOJ review for potential competition issues, and the requirement that companies
submit the deal for that review, is triggered by any transaction valued at
$70.9 million or more.

John Eggerton

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.