The DOJ wants Sinclair Broadcasting Company to divest roughly a dozen local broadcast stations in competitive markets in order to get regulatory approval of its acquisition of Tribune Media Company, The Wall Street Journal reports.

Why it matters: The full Tribune acquisition would give Sinclair, a conservative-leaning broadcasting giant, unprecented access to the local TV market — roughly 70% reach. The DOJ's request reflects antitrust concerns in key areas, like St. Louis and Salt Lake CIty, where Sinclair would expand its footprint should the deal go through, per WSJ.

Progressives argue that the deal as stands would give Sinclair unprecedented access to local media markets.

  • The current deal, if approved, would give Sinclair over 200 stations that reach about 72% of U.S. TV households in 81 markets.
  • After the deal, Sinclair would own at least one station in each of the nation's top five media markets: NYC, Los Angeles, Chicago, Phily and Dallas, per Axios' Kim Hart.

The deal, priced at $3.9 billion, still needs final approval from the FCC. That seems likely, given that FCC Chairman Ajit Pai eased media ownership caps earlier this year.

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Updated 3 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Coronavirus dashboard

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

  1. Global: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 18,752,917 — Total deaths: 706,761— Total recoveries — 11,308,298Map.
  2. U.S.: Total confirmed cases as of midnight ET: 4,821,296 — Total deaths: 158,249 — Total recoveries: 1,577,851 — Total tests: 58,920,975Map.
  3. Public health: Florida surpasses 500,000 confirmed casesFauci calls U.S. coronavirus testing delays "totally unacceptable."
  4. Business: America's next housing crisis.
  5. States: Virginia launches contact tracing app using specs from Apple and Google.
  6. Cities: L.A. mayor authorizes utilities shut-off at homes hosting large gatherings
  7. Politics: White House, Democrats remain "trillions of dollars apart" on stimulus talks.

L.A. mayor authorizes utilities shut-off at homes hosting large gatherings

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti speaks during a January event in Los Angeles. Photo: Sarah Morris/Getty Images

Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti announced Wednesday he's authorized the city's Department of Water and Power (DWP) to shut down utilities at locations that host large gatherings during the coronavirus pandemic.

Driving the news: Garcetti's announcement follows a fatal shooting at a house party attended by roughly 200 people last Monday, the Los Angeles Times notes.

Updated 6 hours ago - Technology

Facebook, Twitter take down Trump post saying kids are immune to coronavirus

Photo: NurPhoto/Getty Images

Facebook removed a video post from President Trump Wednesday in which he claimed in an interview with Fox News that children are "almost immune" to COVID-19.

Why it matters: It’s the first time that Facebook has removed content from Trump's account for violating policies on coronavirus-related misinformation.