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 PalloneNew Trump rule would weaken Obama methane pollution standards FCC watchdog clears chairman of 'favoritism' allegations over Sinclair deal GAO report blasts Trump's handling of ObamaCare MORE (D-N.J.) and Mike DoyleMichael (Mike) F. DoyleTwitter chief faces GOP anger over bias at hearing Live coverage: Social media execs face grilling on Capitol Hill House Dems press FCC chairman for answers on false cyberattack claim 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.