FTC/DOJ Ok With Media General/LIN Meld

The Federal Trade Commission/Department of Justice have signaled they have no problem with Media General's purchase of LIN Media TV stations.

That came in an early termination notice released Monday (Nov. 3). That means that neither the FTC nor DOJ, but most likely DOJ (they divvy up the reviews), has antitrust issues with the deal that would prompt them to seek conditions or try to block it. That also means the FCC is likely to approve the deal as well, since they tend to coordinate their merger reviews. An FCC spokesperson would only say the deal is still "actively being reviewed."

Media General and LIN divested five stations in an effort to ease the regulatory review of the deal.

The notice actually cites Lin Media and Mercury Holdings, which is the spin-off company created to park the stations pending FCC approval of that and a separate deal in which Media General was buying Sinclair's KXRM and KXTU in Colorado Springs-Pueblo and Sinclair's WTTA in Tampa-St. Petersburg, which FTC/DOJ approved in September. That deal also still remains under review at the FCC.

Shareholders of Media General and LIN have approved the proposed merger. The merged company will keep the Media General name and remain based in Richmond, Va.

Back in March, Media General and LIN announced their proposed $1.6 billion merger.

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.