House Dems call for new FCC probe into Sinclair

House Dems call for new FCC probe into Sinclair
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House Democrats are urging the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to investigate reports that the Sinclair Broadcast Group has conspired with other broadcasters to raise local advertising costs.

In a letter to FCC Chairman Ajit Pai sent Tuesday, Reps. Frank Pallone Jr.Frank Joseph PalloneLawmakers call on Trump to keep tech legal shield out of trade talks Hillicon Valley: FTC fines Facebook B in privacy settlement | Critics pan settlement as weak | Facebook also faces FTC antitrust probe | Senate panel advances 'deepfakes' legislation | House passes anti-robocall bill House passes anti-robocall bill MORE (D-N.J.) and Mike DoyleMichael (Mike) F. DoyleHere are the 95 Democrats who voted to support impeachment House panel advances anti-robocall bill House Democrats seek bipartisan working group on net neutrality MORE (D-Pa.), the top Democrats on the House committee overseeing the FCC, said that the commission should look into the possibility that Sinclair had conspired with Tribune Media, which it's trying to acquire.

“An FCC investigation is warranted in light of recent reports that the Department of Justice (DOJ) is investigating whether the sales teams of Sinclair and Tribune were improperly coordinating regarding their advertising sales performance, resulting in higher rates,” the two Democrats wrote. “Moreover, Sinclair has a history of improperly exercising de facto control over stations it did not own, further supporting the need for review.”

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Pallone and Doyle said that such an investigation should be separate from the administrative law proceeding that the Sinclair-Tribune merger has been referred to after Pai said he had “serious concerns” about the deal.

That proceeding would likely dampen the $3.9 billion merger’s chances of approval.

A spokeswoman for Pai said the office has received the letter and is reviewing it.