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Hedge fund Standard General sues FCC over delay in Tegna deal

(Reuters) – Standard General said on Tuesday it had filed a lawsuit against the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) over its decision to hold hearings on the hedge fund’s $5.4 billion plan to buy television station operator Tegna.

The FCC, which regulates telecommunications in the country, last month said it would hold a hearing on the planned acquisition of Tegna, which manages 64 stations in 51 U.S. markets. The decision had come from FCC’s Media Bureau, and not the commission.

Last year, Tegna agreed to be taken private by Standard General in a $5.4 billion all-cash deal. The agreement has attracted criticism from some powerful corners in Congress, including then-House Speaker Nancy Pelosi, on concerns of potentially higher TV prices for consumers.

Standard General, which is Tegna’s third-largest shareholder, said on Tuesday the FCC Media Bureau in its nearly year-long review had not expressed any concerns with the transaction, and so the decision to hold a hearing was “an unprecedented and legally improper maneuver.”

Tegna and the FCC did not immediately respond to a Reuters request for comment.

(Reporting by Eva Mathews in Bengaluru; Editing by Shinjini Ganguli)


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