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US: Sinclair and 5 others settle with DOJ

 |  November 13, 2018

Six broadcast station groups have reached a settlement with the Department of Justice (DOJ) over the sharing of competitively sensitive advertising rate information in violation of antitrust laws.

The companies—Sinclair Broadcast Group, Raycom Media, Tribune Media, Meredith, Griffin Communications, and Dreamcatcher Broadcasting—will be prohibited from direct or indirect sharing of information under the terms of the settlement.

“The unlawful exchange of competitively sensitive information allowed these television broadcast companies to disrupt the normal competitive process of spot advertising in markets across the United States,” said Makan Delrahim, chief of the DOJ’s Antitrust Division. “Advertisers rely on competition among owners of broadcast television stations to obtain reasonable advertising rates, but this unlawful sharing of information lessened that competition and thereby harmed the local businesses and the consumers they serve.”

The companies also will be required to adopt antitrust compliance and reporting measures and to cooperate in an ongoing investigation by the DOJ. The settlement has a seven year term, and will apply to stations even if they are sold to another owner.

Full Content: Bloomberg
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