The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) will take new comments from the public on Sinclair Broadcast Group’s $3.9 billion bid for Tribune Media.
The agency is reopening its review of the merger for public comments after the two companies proposed to sell off some local stations in an effort to bring the deal in line with media ownership restrictions.
The public will have until July 12 to weigh in on the docket.
Many Democrats have urged the FCC and the Department of Justice to block the deal, arguing that it will give the conservative-leaning broadcast giant too much reach, while shutting out independent media outlets.
Jessica Rosenworcel, a Democrat on the commission, said the agency should not be moving forward with its review while a court is considering a lawsuit against the FCC over media deregulations that could affect the merger.
“The @FCC just asked for public comment on the Sinclair merger, speeding the way for regulatory approval,” Rosenworcel wrote. “But the @FCC is still waiting on a court decision about how many stations one company can own. No way it should rush ahead now before the court acts. The rule of law matters.”