Skip to main content

Sinclair, Dish Destroy Confidential Documents Per FCC Order

There were some final loose ends tied up this week in Sinclair's failed effort to buy the Tribune stations.

Sinclair and Dish both certified that they had destroyed confidential documents obtained about each other's businesses during the FCC's vetting of the merger, a merger ultimately derailed when the FCC designated the deal for hearing over issues of whether Sinclair had been entirely candid about the deal's ownership structure.

A hearing designation is effectively a deal death sentence, as it was in this case, with Nexstar currently trying to buy the Tribune stations.

Both Dish and Sinclair filed certifications that the documents had been destroyed to the extent required by a July 2017 protective order by the counsel to and consultants on the deal that got access to them.

Dish strongly opposed the deal, arguing it would raise prices to distributors, like Dish, and ultimately to consumers.

While merger participants and parties in interest--Dish petitioned to deny the deal--often get and give access to sensitive business information, like pricing, they also must agree not to share it and not to keep it longer than necessary.

One Sinclair attorney had exited Steptoe & Johnson, the firm representing Sinclair, so had already told the FCC back in September that she had destroyed her copies of the documents.

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.