FTC OK With Tribune/Local TV Holdings Deal

Grants Early Termination to $2.7 Billion 'Super Group' Deal

The Federal Trade Commission has given a clean bill of antitrust health to Tribune's planned purchase of Local TV Holdings.

The FTC Monday terminated its antitrust review of Tribune's $2.725 billion deal to buy Local's 19 TV stations without taking any action to block or condition the deal.

That came in an early termination notice. An antitrust review by either the FTC or Justice is triggered by mergers valued at at least $70.9 million. If there are no antitrust issues, an early termination of the review is granted.

Earlier this month, Tribune announced it had struck a $2.725 billion deal to buy Local's 19 stations, which it expected to close by then end of the year subject to regulatory approvals.

The deals still needs to pass muster with the FCC, which reviews mergers for public interest as well as concentration issues.

To come into compliance with FCC newspaper-broadcast crossownership limits in Local TV Holdings markets where Tribune owns some newspapers, Local TV has filed applications to sell stations in Scranton, Pa., and Norfolk, Va., to Dreamcatcher Broadcasting, according to FCC documents.