Sinclair Settles Case with DOJ


Sinclair says that they have entered into a consent decree with the Justice Department to "resolve" DOJ's investigation into its sharing of information among "certain stations in some local markets."

Sinclair says that they will not have to pay a fine for suffer any penalties.

B&C writes that the DOJ has not filed the consent decree, but Sinclair said it expected it to by Thursday (Nov. 8).

Sinclair cited the decree in its third-quarter earnings statement. Companies are required to inform investors of regulatory or legal actions that could affect the company's performance.

Sinclair pointed out that the settlement was not an admission of guilt and did not involve "any monetary damages or penalties."

Sinclair said on its third-quarter earnings call Wednesday (Nov. 7) that the consent decree only requires it to "adopt certain additional compliance measures." Sinclair President Chris Ripley said the broadcaster agreed to the consent decree "despite our belief that there was no actual impact on pricing of advertising or any violation of antitrust laws" and because the costs of compliance with the decree were "minimal" as opposed to the legal costs of continuing to dispute it.

The Wall Street Journal reported back in July that DOJ was investigating whether TV station owners ran afoul of antitrust laws and inflated ad rates, which said the investigation stemmed from DOJ's vetting of the Sinclair-Tribune merger, which ultimately cratered.