WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Cumulus Media Inc (CMLS.O) will sell three radio stations in two states in order to win antitrust approval to buy Citadel Broadcasting Corp CDELA.PK, the Justice Department said on Thursday.
The companies, which are the No. 2 and No. 3 in the U.S. market, must sell one station in Flint, Michigan and two in or near Harrisburg, Pennsylvania to satisfy antitrust concerns, the department said.
Cumulus had said in March that it would pay about $2.4 billion for Citadel in a deal that would bring together Citadel’s 225 radio stations and 347 owned by Cumulus. Privately held Clear Channel Communications has roughly 800 stations.
The Federal Communications Commission must also approve the deal.
Radio broadcasters have been consolidating as advertising dollars shrink and listeners migrate toward free Internet content and to subscription services like Sirius XM (SIRI.O) satellite radio.
Citadel had filed for bankruptcy protection as it struggled with heavy debt and a slump in advertising revenue. It emerged from bankruptcy protection in June 2010.
Reporting by Diane Bartz and Jasmin Melvin, editing by Bernard Orr