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Media merger denied by FCC, lawsuits begin

Companies in the greater Detroit, Michigan area and the Chicago metropolitan area who engage in discussions with other businesses about potential mergers should always know that such deals may turn south even when they begin in a friendly and positive manner. In some cases, the change of tune regarding merger discussions might even involve a third party. The decisions or actions of that third party may even be said to be influenced by one of the potential merging companies.

Such is the case today in a dispute that has arisen between two media corporations that had been attempting to merge but that now find themselves embroiled in multiple lawsuits against each other. As reported by the Chicago Business Tribune, the Federal Communications Commission failed to approve the requested merger between the two corporations, one based in Chicago and the other in Maryland. The FCC referred the matter to a judge who put the final kibosh on the deal.

Together, the merged company would have owned more than 230 media outlets nationwide as the Chicago-based company currently owns 40 stations and the Maryland company owns close to 200 stations around the country. The Chicago company has initiated a lawsuit alleging that it was the actions and misconduct on the part of the Maryland company that led to the deal being denied. The suit calls out both misconduct and breach of contract.

In return, the Maryland company is suing the Chicago company, alleging that the latter is essentially trying to profit from a botched deal.




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