Tech Companies Ask FCC to Hit 'Delete' on Sinclair-Tribune

Group says combined companies could use heft to delay TV repack, 5G rollout

Some mammoth edge providers have thrown their weight against the Sinclair-Tribune deal, citing among other things Sinclair's own potential heavyweight status in the post-spectrum auction TV station repack.

The Computer & Communications Industry Association, whose members include Amazon, Facebook and Google, weighed in at the FCC with additional input on why approving the deal is not in the public interest.

CCIA said a Sinclair-Tribune combination could better achieve what CCIA said is Sinclair's longstanding goal of delaying the repack, which would in turn delay the rollout of 5G on the broadcast spectrum being vacated in the repack for use by the wireless broadband providers that provide access to all those edge providers.

Related: Four States' AGs Ask FCC to Deny Sinclair-Tribune Merger

The association cited Sinclair's challenge of the 39-month FCC repack timeline and its effort initially to delay the auction until after the ATSC 3.0 next-gen transmission standards were developed. The FCC is planning to vote this month on a framework for the ATSC 3.0 rollout.

As the "dominant" seller and buyer of broadcast equipment, said CCIA, the combined companies would be able to delay the transition. Sinclair owns antenna company Dielectric and equipment company Acrodyne.

Related: NCTA Says Sinclair's Detail-less Deal Reply Doesn't Cut It

CCIA also said Sinclair had not made "real commitments" to create jobs, and would not be able to because of additional debt, anyway. It also claimed Sinclair had no commitment to diversity of voices.

"This transaction means job cuts, less local investment, diminished diversity of voices, and delays for 5G deployment," the group concluded. 'These are things no commission should approve. The facts and the law provide no basis for the commission to allow this merger to proceed. The commission must reject this merger."