FCC approves Nexstar-Media General tie-up | Broadcast | News | Rapid TV News
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The Media Bureau of US telecoms and broadcast regulator the FCC has approved the Nexstar-Media General merger.

FCC panelBack on 2 September, the US Justice Department gave the deal the green light, seeing no antitrust concerns as long as Nexstar divested a handful of stations. The FCC's broader public interest review has now concluded that the deal can go forward, with those spin-offs as a condition.

The American Cable Association, Cox and Dish had filed a petition arguing that the merger would result in the combined broadcast group having undue clout when it comes to retransmission consent bargaining. However the Justice Department's antitrust division said that the divestitures would eliminate this concern with the $4.6 billion purchase. The FCC also said that with the spin-offs “the transaction will not significantly change whatever bargaining leverage the applicants currently have in the affected markets."

Nexstar is selling WBAY Green Bay to Gray Television; WSLS Roanoke-Lynchburg to Graham Holdings; KADN and KLAF-LD Lafayette to Bayou City Broadcasting; WTHI Terre Haute to USA Television MidAmerica Holdings; WFFT Fort Wayne to USA Television; and KWQC Quad Cities to Gray.

In addition, to comply with the FCC's national audience reach cap (39%), Nexstar and Media General have also agreed to divest KREG-TV Denver (Nexstar), WCWJ Jacksonville (Nexstar), KIMT Rochester (Media General), WLFI-TV Lafayette (Media General) and KQTV St Joseph (Nexstar).

The FCC also cited as a public benefit Nexstar viewers' access to Media General's D.C. news bureau and the establishment of state news bureaus.