Justice Department looking at proposed purchase of ABC TV station

CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Antitrust concerns have prompted the US Justice Department to take a look at the proposed purchase of the ABC TV station in Charleston, according to TvNewsCheck, a media industry trade publication.

The Justice Department is asking Sinclair Broadcast Group and the parent company of Allbritton Communications for more information about Sinclair's proposed acquisition of WCIV-TV here in Charleston and Allbritton's Harrisburg, Pa. TV station.

The concern, according to petitions before the FCC, is that Sinclair already owns TV stations in both cities, specifically WTAT, the Fox affiliate here in Charleston. WCSC currently produces newscasts for WTAT.

According to the Wall Street Journal, both companies announced this week they received the Justice Department's request for additional information, also referred to as a "second request."

It can extend the waiting period before the sale can get an all clear.

The purchase, which is part of a $985 million deal, must now get the Justice Department's clearance and approval by the FCC. Both companies expected the deal to close by first or second quarter of 2014.

Copyright 2013 WCSC. All rights reserved.