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FCC votes to lift media ownership limits

The Washington headquarters of the Federal Communications Commission. Photo: Andrew Harnik / AP

In a win for the broadcasting industry, the FCC voted Thursday along party lines to lift limits on media consolidation.

Why it matters: It's FCC chairman Ajit Pai's latest move to deregulate the media industry after a year in which he has regularly been accused by Democrats of trying to aid the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is trying to buy Tribune Media.

The details:

  • The agency repealed the ban on owning a television station and newspaper in the same market, and a similar rule for owning TV and radio stations.
  • The FCC will also be able to waive a prohibition on owning two of the top four stations in a single market.

What's next?: The move will likely be challenged in court.

Go deeper: We wrote earlier this week about why this has been a great year for broadcasters in Washington. The agency also voted on Thursday to allow broadcasters to use a new technical standard that will let them track viewer data for ad targeting purposes.

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