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US: FCC Chair received White House call over Sinclair-Tribune deal

 |  August 16, 2018

President Donald Trump’s top White House lawyer called Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Chairman Ajit Pai in July to ask about the agency’s decision to doom Sinclair Broadcast Group’s attempt to acquire Tribune Media, The Hill reported Thursday, August 16.

The FCC chairman said the call came around July 16 or 17, right after he had announced that he had “serious concerns” about the merger and would be referring it to an administrative law judge, a move that ultimately doomed the US$3.9 billion deal.

President Trump lashed out at the FCC for rejecting the merger involving the right-leaning Sinclair a week after the reported call.

“So sad and unfair that the FCC wouldn’t approve the Sinclair Broadcast merger with Tribune,” the president wrote in the tweet. “This would have been a great and much needed Conservative voice for and of the People. Liberal Fake News NBC and Comcast gets approved, much bigger, but not Sinclair. Disgraceful!”

After Pai’s July announcement, the FCC voted unanimously to subject the merger to further scrutiny through the administrative law proceeding, accusing Sinclair of misleading them about certain transactions related to the deal.

Full Content: The Hill

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