The Federal Trade Commission said Monday that the Gray/Diversified TV station deal had been granted early termination of its antitrust review, which means they found no reason to sue to block the deal or condition it.
Gray TV announced last month it had struck a deal to buy Diversified Communications' two TV stations—WABI Bangor, Maine (CBS) and WCJB Gainesville, Fla. (ABC) for $85 million.
The deal still must pass muster with the FCC's public interest review of the license transfer, but the FCC and DOJ—which usually handles the media merger antitrust reviews (it divides the duties with the FTC)—usually coordinate their reviews, so the FCC is likely also to give it an OK.
Gray said it had expected to close the deal in the second quarter of the year.
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.
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