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US: Lawmakers demand investigation into FCC Chairman Ajit Pai

 |  November 22, 2017

Two members of the US House of Representatives have sent a formal letter to the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) Inspector General calling for an investigation of Chairman Ajit Pai. Energy and Commerce Ranking Member Frank Pallone, Jr. (D-New Jersey) and Oversight and Government Reform Ranking Member Elijah E. Cummings (D-Maryland) believe Pai “has taken actions to improperly benefit Sinclair Broadcast Group.”

The investigation would focus on the interactions of Mr. Pai and officials at Sinclair Broadcast Group. The Congressmen believe Pai hasn’t sufficiently answered questions related to these meetings and are hoping a federal investigation can clear things up.

They are questioning whether or not Pai and others at the FCC have used personal messaging channels and private emails to communicate with Sinclair. This would be a violation of the Federal Records Act and the Freedom of Information Act. The second part of the investigation centers around whether or not Mr. Pai’s actions have shown a pattern of preferential treatment towards Sinclair.

Sinclair Broadcast Group is the second largest television station operator in the US and largest by total coverage. Their 173 stations currently reach about 40% of American households and they are looking to grow by purchasing Tribune Media. Many believe recent decisions made by the FCC have been targeted to directly help Sinclair expand their reach.

Full Content: ARS Technica

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