For Immediate Release
Contact: Ted Hearn
PITTSBURGH, December 17, 2018 – American Cable Association President and CEO Matthew M. Polka issued the following statement on the Department of Justice’s decision to require Gray Television Inc. and Raycom Media Inc. to divest broadcast television stations in nine markets as a condition of resolving a court challenge to their proposed $3.6 billion merger.
“ACA applauds the Department of Justice (DOJ) for taking this action against the Gray-Raycom merger in the nine markets where the merged firm would own two Big 4 network stations. As DOJ found, permitting the merger without these divestitures would have substantially lessened competition in violation of applicable anti-trust law.
“ACA agrees with DOJ’s assessment that absent the divestitures in the nine markets, the Gray-Raycom merger would cause serious harm to pay-TV subscribers and small businesses. DOJ correctly concluded that the ‘combined company would likely charge cable and satellite companies higher retransmission fees to carry the combined company’s broadcast stations, resulting in higher monthly cable and satellite bills for millions of Americans.’
“ACA is pleased that DOJ will not tolerate a merger that would eliminate a major competitor in a local TV market and would give Gray enormous pricing leverage over multichannel video programming distributors (MVPDs), especially smaller ones. The divestiture mandate also reduces the disruptive impact of signal blackouts involving two Big Four (i.e., affiliates of NBC, CBS, ABC, or FOX) stations in the same local market.”
About the American Cable Association: Based in Pittsburgh, the American Cable Association is a trade organization representing more than 700 smaller and medium-sized, independent companies that provide broadband, phone and video services to nearly 8 million customers primarily located in rural and smaller suburban markets across America. Through active participation in the regulatory and legislative process in Washington, D.C., ACA’s members work together to advance the interests of their customers and ensure the future competitiveness and viability of their business. For more information, visit: http://www.americancable.org/