July 25, 2018 / 6:34 PM / 5 months ago

FCC chairman stands by Sinclair Tribune merger review decision

FILE PHOTO: Chairman Ajit Pai speaks ahead of the vote on the repeal of so called net neutrality rules at the Federal Communications Commission in Washington, U.S., December 14, 2017. REUTERS/Aaron P. Bernstein/File Photo

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai said on Wednesday he stands by the decision to refer Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc’s (SBGI.O) $3.9 billion proposed acquisition of Tribune Media Co (TRCO.N) for review by an administrative law judge despite critical comments from U.S. President Donald Trump.

“I stand by our decision,” Pai told a U.S. House panel.

Trump said in a tweet on Tuesday that it was “disgraceful” that the FCC “wouldn’t approve the Sinclair Broadcast merger with Tribune. This would have been a great and much needed Conservative voice for and of the People.”

Pai said he did not make decisions based on ideology of applicants, but looked at the facts.

Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Marguerita Choy

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