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FTC/DOJ Have No Issues With Gannett/London Station Deal

Neither the Justice Department nor the Federal Trade Commission have any antitrust issues with Gannett's purchase of six London Broadcasting stations for $215 million. Since the FCC and FTC/Justice usually coordinate their reviews, the FCC is likely not to have any issues either, though it looks beyond antitrust to public interest benefits.

The Gannett/London Broadcasting deal was on a list of mergers that were granted early termination of Hart-Scott-Rodino antitrust reviews, which are divvied up between the FTC and DOJ. They don't say who vets which, but DOJ usually handles TV station deals.

Mergers valued at above $75 million must be submitted for antitrust review. Early termination means FTC/DOJ find no reason to block or condition the deal.

Gannett announced May 14 it had agreed, subject to government approval, to acquire KCEN Waco-Temple-Bryan, KYTX Tyler-Longview, KIII Corpus Christi, KBMT and subchannel KJAC in Beaumont-Port Arthur, KXVA Abilene-Sweetwater and KIDY San Angelo. 

The deal is expected to close this summer.