Class Action Lawsuit Forms Against Sinclair Broadcasting

Sinclair Broadcasting TV Stations Under InvestigationIf you have invested in Sinclair Broadcasting shares between February 22nd, 2017 and July 19th, 2018, you may be entitled to compensation if a newly forming class action lawsuit proves successful. The complaint charges the company with violating federal securities laws and failing to disclose important information to investors. If you have lost $100,000 or more due to Sinclair Broadcasting’s actions, you have until October 9th, 2018 to become part of the legal action pending in the States District Court for the District of Maryland.

What Happened to Sinclair Broadcasting?

Baltimore-based Sinclair Broadcasting was not just denied a $3.9 billion merger that would’ve linked over 200 stations across the country. Now, in what Variety Magazine called “a spectacular crash and burn,” Tribune filed a $1 billion lawsuit, accusing Sinclair of breaching its obligations to get the deal cleared by federal regulators. The Justice Department is reviewing actions taken by Sinclair, Tribune, and other broadcast groups for potential antitrust violations.

According to Tribune, Sinclair “engaged in belligerent and unnecessarily protracted negotiations with DOJ and the FCC over regulatory requirements.” Further, they contend that Sinclair “rejected clear paths to regulatory approval” and “found, threatened, insulted, and misled regulators” to retain control over stations they were obligated to sell. The lawsuit claims selling stations in 10 problematic markets would  have enabled the deal to go through, but instead, Sinclair “invited litigation” over divestitures and “went so far as to threaten to file its own lawsuit against the DOJ.”

The Merger Had Critics On Both Sides of Political Spectrum

The Sinclair merger may have been doomed from the start, with left-leaning opponents worried Sinclair would have served as a mouthpiece for President Trump to make his way into local newscasts while those on the right such as Newsmax figurehead Chris Ruddy fearing the concentration of ownership “posed serious risks for diverse and balanced news in America’s heartland.” The American Cable Association said the failed merger is great news for consumers who would’ve paid higher rates for television. However, the collapse wasn’t good news for everyone.

Why Does A Failed Merger Matter to Citizens?

Sinclair Broadcast Group shares took an 11.8% nose-dive after FCC Chairman Aijt Pai expressed concerns about the merger. Similarly, Tribune Media shares fell as much as 18%. These sharp declines resulted in losses of more than $100,000 for some shareholders.

The complaint alleges that the Defendants:

  • Made false and/or misleading statements and omitted material facts
  • Failed to disclose important information about the company’s operations and proposed merger
  • Attempted to openly defy the FCC’s broadcast ownership rules
  • Failed to disclose that the merger was not in compliance with FCC rules and regulations
  • Proposed divestitures that were sham transactions in violation with federal securities laws
  • Did not use their best efforts to overcome obstacles to regulatory approval

Get Help Filing a Claim

Contact Kantrowitz, Goldhamer & Graifman, P.C. to speak to an experienced attorney in New York and New Jersey. We have over four decades of experience with class action lawsuits. We’re big enough to do it all, and small enough to care! With a class action lawsuit, you can expect a representative party (the “lead plaintiff”) to act on behalf of all class members in establishing a compelling argument in favor of compensation for all affected parties. If the litigation is successful, all members of the party can be eligible to receive a portion of the compensation package.

Additional Resources on the Class Action Against Sinclair Broadcasting: