WASHINGTON, D.C.—The Federal Communications Commission has announced that it’s Media Bureau has referred certain questions related to Standard General’s proposed acquisition of Tegna (opens in new tab) to its administrative law judge.
The FCC said that “the Hearing Designation Order focuses specifically on material concerns in the record related to how the proposed transaction could artificially raise prices for consumers and result in job losses.”
The FCC has been reviewing Standard General’s proposed $8.6 billion acquisition of Tegna. In the past, a referral to a hearing before its administrative law judge has delayed or derailed deals. (opens in new tab) Tegna’s stock fell by about 25% in after hours trading on Friday Feb. 24 (opens in new tab) after the FCC announced the decision.
The move came more than a year after the deal was first announced (opens in new tab) and has followed extensive requests for comments and documents from the FCC.
“As part of the FCC’s mission, we are responsible for determining whether grant of the applications constituting this transaction serves the public interest,” said FCC Chairwoman Jessica Rosenworcel in a statement. “That’s why we’re asking for closer review to ensure that this transaction does not anti-competitively raise prices or put jobs in local newsrooms at risk. The additional review will allow us to make a more informed assessment on whether proposed safeguards are sufficient to protect the public interest, and we will take the time needed to address these critical questions.”