A proposed merger that would have created the biggest U.S. television company collapsed when Tribune Media announced a $1 billion lawsuit against Sinclair Broadcast Group, which is based in Baltimore County, Md, on grounds that the conservative television giant engaged in “misconduct” and precluded U.S. government approving of the deal, reports The Washington Post, which added that “Tribune said it would terminate the $3.9 billion deal and accused Sinclair in a lawsuit of engaging in “belligerent and unnecessarily protracted negotiations” with the FCC as well as the Justice Department, which reviewed the merger over its potential effects on competition. By failing to divest television stations as regulators recommended, Tribune said, Sinclair had “breached” the companies’ merger agreement, which required them to make their best efforts to secure federal approval.

“The breakdown of the merger — which would have created a national right-leaning television powerhouse — reflects a reversal of fortunes for Sinclair, which pitched the tie-up last year as a “transformational” event and the biggest acquisition in its history.”

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