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Armstrong Williams -
April 20, 2018

Last year, the Sinclair Broadcasting Group agreed to acquire the Tribune Media Company. Since then the competitors of free-to-the-home broadcast television have been among the loudest voices crying "the sky is falling," and the government -- the FCC and DOJ -- should deny approval of the merger. This chorus has been joined by adversaries wishing to create political division, and seeking to pull the power-levers of government to have Sinclair "investigated" for "bias" and claims of "fake news."

Let's get some context and perspective. Free-to-the-home television in America, one of the nation's most heavily regulated industries, is in a fight for its life. There is fierce and expanding competition everywhere in the media marketplace: from pay television (DirecTV, Dish Network, Comcast, AT&T, Verizon, Charter), the big five networks (NBC, CBS, ABC, Fox and CNN), the Studios (Disney, Sony, Paramount), and over-the-top internet services (Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix and Google). All of these competitors have far bigger budgets and deeper pockets than Sinclair and Tribune combined (under $4 billion vs. more than $100 billion, and in the case of Apple almost $1 trillion).

None of these companies, however, are subject to any rules that restrict how many TV homes they can reach, as broadcasters are.…

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