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Chicago TV company calls off $3.9B buyout by Sinclair

| Thursday, Aug. 9, 2018, 7:09 a.m.
FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2004, file photo, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.'s headquarters stands in Hunt Valley, Md. Broadcasting company Sinclair says it’s in talks with Tribune Media Co. on how to overcome regulatory hurdles to its $3.9 billion deal to buy 42 of Tribune’s TV stations. Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, that the companies are working to find approaches that are best for the company, employees and shareholders. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)
FILE - In this Oct. 12, 2004, file photo, Sinclair Broadcast Group, Inc.'s headquarters stands in Hunt Valley, Md. Broadcasting company Sinclair says it’s in talks with Tribune Media Co. on how to overcome regulatory hurdles to its $3.9 billion deal to buy 42 of Tribune’s TV stations. Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said Wednesday, Aug. 8, 2018, that the companies are working to find approaches that are best for the company, employees and shareholders. (AP Photo/Steve Ruark, File)

NEW YORK — Tribune Media Co. is withdrawing from its $3.9 billion buyout by Sinclair and it’s filing a lawsuit against it, citing breach of contract.

Tribune would be on the hook for a $135 million breakup fee, according to the agreement reached last year.

Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc. had offered to buy the Chicago company’s 42 TV stations and had agreed to get rid of stations in some markets to gain regulatory approval. Tribune claims Sinclair used “unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations” with the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission over regulatory requirements and refused to sell the stations it needed to.

The two companies had until midnight Wednesday to call off their deal.

Sinclair is one of the nation’s largest owners of TV stations.

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