$3.9B buyout deal for Sinclair to take over Tribune ends
NEW YORK (AP) — The $3.9 billion buyout of Tribune Media by Sinclair collapsed Thursday, ending a bid to create a massive media juggernaut that could have rivaled the reach of Fox News.
Tribune Media Co. said Thursday that it is suing Sinclair for breach of contract and at least $1 billion in damages, according to its complaint .
Sinclair used "unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations" with the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission over regulatory requirements, the Chicago company said, and it refused to sell the stations it needed to in order to gain regulatory approval.
Sinclair Broadcast Group wanted the Chicago company's 42 TV stations and had initially agreed to dump almost two dozen of its own to score approval by the FCC.Sinclair operates 192 stations (including FOX 56) , runs 611 channels and operates in 89 U.S. markets. It would have been able to expand rapidly into numerous new markets with the Tribune acquisition.
The Maryland company said Thursday in a prepared statement that the Tribune lawsuit is "entirely without merit."
"We unequivocally stand by our position that we did not mislead the FCC with respect to the transaction or act in any way other than with complete candor and transparency," said CEO Chris Ripley.