DOJ Probing Sinclair, Tribune Advertising Practices

The Justice Department is probing whether the owners of Sinclair Broadcast Group, Tribune Media, and other independent TV owners violated antitrust law by banding together to inflate “local television advertising prices,” The Wall Street Journal reports. Investigators are looking into whether the stations “coordinated efforts” when their ad teams discussed their performance, possibly leading to higher prices for TV commercials, according to the newspaper. A Sinclair spokesperson said that the investigation was “not specific to Sinclair but focuses on the larger broadcast industry.” The government reportedly found the alleged sales practice by looking into Sinclair’s requested merger with Tribune—which has raised serious concerns. Both Sinclair and Tribune own dozens of local news stations across the country, and also carry programming from big networks like ABC, CBS, NBC, and Fox.