FCC chairman questions Sinclair-Tribune deal.

Mr. Pai issued a statement last week urging a hearing before an administrative law judge; the statement read, “Based on a thorough review of the record, I have serious concerns about the Sinclair/Tribune transaction. The evidence we’ve received suggests that certain station divestitures that have been proposed to the FCC would allow Sinclair to control those stations in practice, even if not in name, in violation of the law. When the FCC confronts disputed issues like these, the Communications Act does not allow it to approve the transaction. Instead, the law requires the FCC to designate transaction for a hearing in order to get to the bottom of those disputed issues.” Historically, throwing a deal to an administrative law judge usually results in the transaction being denied.