Nexstar-Media General Merger May Signal New DOJ Approach to Broadcast Television Mergers
The Antitrust Division of the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ) filed six antitrust lawsuits seeking to block the merger of broadcast television station groups in the past three years. Each case was settled and filed with the complaint requiring the divestiture of stations in local markets in which both companies operated stations. In five of the six cases, the DOJ's hypothesis of how the mergers would harm competition was the same. However in the sixth case, a challenge to the acquisition by Nexstar Broadcasting Group of Media General, the DOJ alleged for the first time new grounds for concern about the merger's anticompetitive effects.