U.S. broadcaster Tegna Inc, a massive player in American broadcasting, agreed to be purchased earlier this year by investment firm Standard General.
However, according to Reuters, the $5.4 billion all-cash deal seems to be on the ice as House Democrats, including Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-CA), raised “serious concerns” over the acquisition.
Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Frank Pallone joined Pelosi in questioning the deal, which needs approval by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC).
Tenga currently manages 64 television stations in 51 U.S. markets.
Pelosi and Pallone wrote to FCC Chair Jessica Rosenworcel and expressed a list of concerns regarding the mega-deal.
“We are concerned that this transaction would violate the FCC’s mandate by restricting access to local news coverage, cutting jobs at local television stations, and raising prices on consumers,” they wrote.
In the letter, the two House Dems asked Rosenworcel “to fully examine the concerns raised by public comments – and shared by many of our colleagues in the Congress – about this proposed transaction, consistent with the applicable laws and regulations.”
In response, the FCC told Reuters that it wouldn’t comment on the deal, and “consistent with long-standing practice does not comment on pending transactions.”
Earlier this year, members of Tenga’s board were hit with a lawsuit, “filed by Wohl & Fruchter on behalf of Norman Nutkis,” Law.com reported.
Standard General, which is Tegna’s third-largest shareholder, had nominated four members to the company’s board in 2020, arguing the stock had underperformed and changes were needed.
Only time will tell if the deal is approved, but in the meantime, it’s probably more important to watch Pelosi to see if she attempts to make money on the situation on Wall Street.