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 PalloneIntercept bureau chief: Democrats dropping support of Medicare for All could threaten bill's momentum House Democrats reintroduce road map to carbon neutrality by 2050 House Democrats criticize Texas's 'shortcomings in preparations' on winter storms MORE (D-N.J.) and Mike DoyleMichael (Mike) F. DoyleCongressional CEO grillings can't solve disinformation: We need a public interest regulator Hillicon Valley: Another Big Tech hearing | Cyber Command flexes operations | Trump's social media site in the works Lawmakers vent frustration in first hearing with tech CEOs since Capitol riot 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.”


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.