Mar 1, 2017 - Economy

Sinclair-Tribune merger discussion could test Trump

Michael Huynh / Flickr cc

Sinclair Broadcast Group has approached competitor Tribune Media — which has struggled with higher programming and advertising costs — to discuss a potential merger, reports CNBC. Tribune Media CEO Peter Liguori also announced that he will be stepping down later this month.

Why this matters: As CNBC points out, a deal between Sinclair and Tribune, which are valued at $3.6 billion and $3 billion respectively, would join two of the largest U.S. local TV owners — a merger that would be in violation of the FCC's current regulations, which do not allow one company to reach more than 39% of U.S. households.

Tribune is already over the cap by reaching 44% of homes, while Sinclair reaches 38%. However, industry executives are hoping that the Trump administration will lift the restrictions on ownership concentration, which will allow the companies to compete for audiences and advertisers similar to that of Facebook and Google.

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