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Gray Television’s $925M Regional Station Buy Approved by Justice Dept., With Divestitures

The Hollywood Reporter logo The Hollywood Reporter 7/28/2021 Eriq Gardner

The Department of Justice have given its nod to Gray Television’s $925 million deal to acquire Quincy Media, a regional station owner that mostly operates in the Midwest United States. That is, the deal gets regulatory approval upon the condition that Gray divests 10 broadcast television stations in seven local markets. The decision marks the first by the Biden-era DOJ on a major deal in the media industry.

Court fillings on Gray-Quincy were filed this afternoon in DC federal court. The government asked for an injunction on a deal that would combine popular local TV stations in markets including Tuscon, Arizona and Madison, Arizona, but also concurrently filed a proposed final judgment.

“Without the required divestitures, Gray’s acquisition of Quincy threatens significant competitive harm to cable and satellite TV subscribers and small businesses that advertise on broadcast television,” said Acting Assistant Attorney General Richard A. Powers of the Justice Department’s Antitrust Division. “I am pleased that we have been able to reach a complete resolution of the department’s concerns, thanks in part to the parties’ commitment to engage in good faith settlement talks from the outset of our investigation.”


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Gray appears to have known for some time that selling NBC and ABC affiliates in certain overlapping markets would be necessary to clear this deal with regulators. In April, Gray spun seven TV stations off in a transaction with Byron Allen.

Along with moves made by Sinclair and Nectar, Gray’s dealings amount to tremendous consolidation as the local TV market restructures itself to compete with digital.

The DOJ Antitrust Division will soon make its determination on another huge merger in entertainment — the one between WarnerMedia and Discovery. The office may also soon have a new division chief as President Biden has nominated Jonathan Kanter to the role.

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