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.
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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