FCC Should Deny Proposed Tribune/Sinclair Transaction to Further an Expeditious Post-Incentive Auction Repack and Mobile Broadband Service Across the U.S.
Washington, DC – August 7, 2017 – Today, in a Petition to Deny filed with the Federal Communications Commission (“FCC” or “Commission”), Competitive Carriers Association (“CCA”) encouraged the Commission to deny the proposed transfer of control of licenses from Tribune Media Company (“Tribune”) to Sinclair Broadcasting Group (“Sinclair”). Sinclair and Tribune are two of the largest broadcasting companies in the U.S., and approving the transaction would result in significant market domination by one company to the detriment of competition, the economy and consumers. Denial of the transaction would refute Sinclair’s efforts to ascertain an unacceptable amount of leverage over wireless carriers; inject delay and uncertainty into the post-incentive auction transition process; and undermine the deployment of broadband services in rural markets, jobs, education, healthcare, and the ability of the United States to compete in a global economy.
“Not often does a broadcast transaction have a direct detrimental impact on wireless carriers and their consumers. This transaction is one of the exceptions and therefore, I strongly encourage the Commission to deny the proposed Tribune/Sinclair transaction,” said CCA President & CEO Steven K. Berry. “Allowing the transaction to go through would result in the largest aggregation of television broadcast spectrum holdings in the industry and would create mammoth domination by Sinclair and its equipment manufacturing subsidiary, Dielectric LLC. Increased concentration of the equipment market also would allow Sinclair to significantly impede the post-incentive auction repack by denying its rivals of critical inputs necessary to relocate in a timely manner. Instead, the Commission should focus its energy on advancing the Chairman’s Digital Empowerment Agenda which includes clearing the recently auctioned 600 MHz spectrum for mobile broadband services, to greatly benefit consumers and the economy.”
“There is no question the negative impact that such a large transaction would have on the public interest, and to avoid harmful outcomes, the FCC must deny it. Consumers, especially those in rural areas that are still unserved and underserved, need access to mobile broadband services as soon as possible, and the FCC should continue its important work to ensure a timely repack process to achieve this important goal. Time is of the essence; the FCC must act on behalf of consumers, competition and the U.S. economy by moving forward with the repack and denying the proposed Tribune/Sinclair transaction.”
CCA is the nation’s leading association for competitive wireless providers and stakeholders across the United States. The licensed service area of CCA’s nearly 100 carrier members covers 95 percent of the nation. Visit www.ccamobile.org.
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