×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Nexstar Settles With Justice Department Over Sharing of Ad Information

WASHINGTON — Nexstar Media Group, which recently announced plans to acquire Tribune Media and become the largest owner of TV stations in the country, has settled with the Justice Department as it investigates broadcasters’ sharing of competitive advertising rate information with rivals.

Six other station groups, including Tribune Media, reached a settlement with the DOJ last month over the rate-sharing practices.

“Robust competition among broadcast stations allows American businesses to obtain competitive advertising rates,” said Makan Delrahim, the chief of the Justice Department’s antitrust division. “The unlawful sharing of information reduced that competition and harmed businesses and the consumers they serve.”

The Justice Department got wind of the rate sharing as it was reviewing Sinclair Broadcast Group’s proposed merger with Tribune last year. That deal ultimately was abandoned after the FCC sent the merger to an administrative law judge for review.

The other companies that have settled with the DOJ include Raycom Media Inc., Meredith Corp., Griffin Communications, and Dreamcatcher Broadcasting. If the settlement is approved by a federal judge, Nexstar and the other companies will be prohibited from direct or indirect sharing of competitively sensitive information.

The information sharing was of “pacing” data that compares revenues for certain periods to those at the same point in previous years. According to the DOJ, with that information, “the stations were better able to anticipate whether their competitors were likely to raise, maintain, or lower spot advertising prices, which in turn helped inform their stations’ own pricing strategies and negotiations with advertisers.”

The antitrust division said Nexstar has also agreed to assist the ongoing investigation.

Popular on Variety

More Politics

  • Elijah Cummings dead

    Democratic Congressman Elijah Cummings Dies at 68

    Democratic congressman Elijah Cummings, a prominent civil rights activist, chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform and key figure in President Donald Trump’s impeachment inquiry, died on Thursday from “complications concerning longstanding health challenges,” according to a statement issued by his office. He was 68. Cummings has been a representative of Maryland’s 7th [...]

  • U.K. and E.U. Strike New Brexit

    U.K., E.U. Strike New Brexit Deal, but It Faces Tough Sell in Parliament

    The U.K. has reached a last-minute Brexit deal with the European Union, but faces a major challenge getting it approved by lawmakers in Parliament. British Prime Minister Boris Johnson tweeted: “We’ve got a great new deal that takes back control,” and called on lawmakers to back the deal when it’s put before Parliament on Saturday. [...]

  • Donald Trump

    Twitter Explains What It Would Take for Trump’s Account or Tweets to Be Deleted

    Twitter grants special exemptions to Donald Trump and other “world leaders” from its code of conduct, including from rules that apply to everyone else. But the social network — which is Trump’s go-to megaphone — says nobody is “above our policies entirely.” Critics including presidential contender Sen. Kamala Harris have blasted Twitter for failing to [...]

  • Tulsi Gabbard, Tom Steyer, Cory Booker,

    Democrats Debate: Elizabeth Warren Calls for Breakup of Tech Companies

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren called for the breakup of big tech companies on Tuesday night, as the candidates debated the size and influence of the technology sector in society. “I’m not willing to give up and let a handful of monopolists dominate our economy and our democracy,” Warren said, citing Amazon as a company that controls [...]

  • Democratic presidential candidate Sen. Elizabeth Warren,

    Democratic Debate: Elizabeth Warren Takes Fire From Moderates

    Sen. Elizabeth Warren came under fire from her more moderate opponents in Tuesday night’s Democratic debate, who challenged her plan for “Medicare for all” and her wealth tax proposal. Sen. Amy Klobuchar, Mayor Pete Buttigieg, and former Rep. Beto O’Rourke took on Warren more forcefully than they have in previous debates. Buttigieg called her out [...]

  • Elizabeth Warren

    Elizabeth Warren's Fundraising Approach Worries Some Donors

    Elizabeth Warren raised nearly $25 million last quarter, and she did it without ever once setting foot in a fancy living room in Bel Air or Brentwood. Last week, she announced that if she is the Democratic nominee, she will continue to avoid high-dollar fundraisers in the general election. And on Tuesday, she went further, [...]

  • LeBron James

    LeBron James Wades Into NBA Controversy Even as China Resumes Streaming Games

    Basketball superstar LeBron James has added fuel to the fire of the controversy engulfing the NBA over its self-censorship in line with China’s political interests — just as China appeared poised to quietly move toward defusing the issue with a resumption of online streaming for most games after a ban last week. James was criticized Tuesday for appearing to toe Beijing’s [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content