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Lawmakers ask for investigation into Sinclair's relationship with FCC

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai at an open meeting earlier this year. Photo: Robin Groulx/Axios

Two Democrats want the FCC's independent inspector general to look into whether FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has shown a "pattern and practice" of given the right-leaning Sinclair Broadcast Group preferential treatment.

Why it matters: Critics have hit Pai hard for media deregulation that they say will benefit Sinclair, particularly its proposed purchase of Tribune Media. That will resurface this week when the FCC votes on a media deregulation package that critics say will lead to more media consolidation.

The other side: "The Chairman is sticking to his long-held views, and given the strong case for modernizing these rules, it's not surprising that those who disagree with him would prefer to do whatever they can to distract from the merits of his proposals," said an FCC spokesperson.