CHICAGO – Nexstar Media Group's proposed $6.4 billion purchase of Chicago-based Tribune Media has moved a step closer to completion after the Justice Department signed off on the deal with the agreement to divest stations in 13 markets to resolve antitrust concerns. The decision was announced July 31.
The merger, which will create the largest TV station ownership group in the U.S., still requires approval from the Federal Communications Commission. It will give Nexstar major market heft, adding 42 TV stations including WGN Ch. 9 in Chicago.
The deal also includes cable channel WGN America and WGNAM 720 - the only radio station owned by either group.
The Justice Department and Attorneys General in three states, including Illinois, filed a federal complaint against Nexstar and Tribune Media alleging the proposed merger would eliminate competition and allow the combined company to charge higher retransmission fees to cable and satellite providers, as well as higher local advertising rates.
There have been no announced divestitures of any of the Chicago stations as part of the proposed Nexstar merger.