Gray-Raycom merger clears regulatory approval | Major Businesses | Business | News | Rapid TV News
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Atlanta-based US broadcasting company Gray Television has now received both FCC and Department of Justice approvals for its $3.6 billion acquisition of Raycom Media.
gray 23 dec 2018
Raycom owns the licences for 49 full-power and eight low-power TV stations and provides programming for an additional 14 stations. Kagan estimates the value of the TV stations at $3.44 billion, making the move deal the eighth-largest US TV station deal of all time and the largest since 2017’s merger of Tribune Media and Sinclair Broadcast Group. It also means that the combined company will be the third-largest broadcast group in the US.

Cable and satellite providers have been concerned that Gray would use its acquired scale and clout to raise retransmission fees, especially for any stations it plans to spin off. Gray told the FCC that it would not, which the commission said was acceptable – no conditions have thus been placed on the merger.

Gray also plans to establish statewide news bureaus and give former Raycom stations access to its Washington, D.C., bureau – which the FCC said was in the public interest.

The FCC last week by dismissed a licence challenge to Raycom stations by Media Council Hawai’i in Honolulu, and Gray will end up with two of the top four stations in the Hawaiian capital. The reason for the exemption to the media ownership rules is that the situation is not against public interest, in the FCC’s eyes. Raycom has increased its news output there, and now with access to Gray’s Washington bureau, the ability to offer more information to the public will be a benefit, according to the commission.

Gray will also have two of the top four TV stations in Amarillo. In this case, the FCC said that one of the stations is usually not in the top four, ended up there due to “an anomalous circumstance”. Gray  said the deal should close by 1 January.