DOJ OKs Nexstar-Tribune Merger With Spinoffs

“Without the required divestitures, Nexstar’s merger with Tribune threatens significant competitive harm to cable and satellite TV subscribers and small businesses,” said  antitrust chief Makan Delrahim. “I am pleased, however, that we have been able to reach a resolution of the division’s concerns, thanks in part to the parties’ commitment to engage in good faith settlement talks from the outset of our investigation.”

The Department of Justice has given the green light to Nexstar Media Group’s $6.4 billion (cash and assumption of debt) acquisition of Tribune Media on the condition that it move ahead with the spin offs of stations in 13 markets where it would have overlapping stations.

The companies have already announced spinoffs in most of those markets, agreeing to sell stations to Tegna and E.W. Scripps.

The Nexstar-Tribune deal still awaits FCC approval.

“Without the required divestitures, Nexstar’s merger with Tribune threatens significant competitive harm to cable and satellite TV subscribers and small businesses,” said Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim, who heads Justice’s Antitrust Division. “I am pleased, however, that we have been able to reach a resolution of the division’s concerns, thanks in part to the parties’ commitment to engage in good faith settlement talks from the outset of our investigation.”

The approval comes in the form of a settlement on a antitrust suit that Justice routinely brings in such cases.

According to Justice’s complaint, without the divestitures the merger would eliminate head-to-head competition between Nexstar and Tribune in the 13 local markets, including Davenport, Iowa; Des Moines, Iowa; Ft. Smith, Ark.; Grand Rapids, Mich.; Harrisburg, Pa.; Hartford, Conn.; Huntsville, Ala.; Indianapolis; Memphis; Norfolk, Va.; Richmond, Va.; Salt Lake City; and Wilkes-Barre, Pa.

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Justice said the divestitures would resolve its antitrust concerns related to retransmission consent and spot advertising sales.


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[email protected] says:

July 31, 2019 at 11:18 pm

Is this the way the DOJ will approve mergers now take them to court along with a few AG offices that sounds odd to me. I thought that TV station groups talk to the DOJ to get them approved didn’t know it goes to court never seemed to be that way for years but I could be wrong on that thou. Surprised they didn’t have an issue with Nexstar owning CBS WTTV & Fox WXIN Fox59 in Indy I thought that was going to be the major sticking point but I guess not.

LOL DOJ also taking a dig at Sinclair as well with there press release approving Nexstar & Tribune merger Nexstar did everything right by selling every TV station in the overlap markets they needed why Sinclair wanted to keep everything and why their merger with Tribune failed. Scripps is the new owner of WXMI Fox17 sometime soon after labor day when The FCC approves the deal maybe they do it in Aug but more likely after labor day just my opinion. Can’t wait to see The Light House after the Fox17 News is over in the coming weeks as I have always liked The Light House for Scripps.

Which means WTTV & WXIN will go dark for the evil empire that is AT&T in the weeks to come since they need to get a deal done with Nexstar and also will need to get a new deal with Circle City as Wish TV & WNDY are both dark since Nexstar owns those TV stations for now which isn’t too long.


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