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Sinclair files countersuit against Tribune

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Sinclair files countersuit against Tribune
FILE PHOTO: The tower of Tribune Broadcasting Los Angeles affiliate KTLA 5 is seen in Hollywood, Los Angeles, California, U.S., July 17, 2018. REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson/File Photo   -   Copyright  Lucy Nicholson(Reuters)
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(Reuters) – Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc <SBGI.O> said on Wednesday it has filed a counterclaim in a Delaware court to Tribune Media Co’s <TRCO.N> lawsuit filed in early August against the company claiming a breach of contract.

Tribune terminated its $3.9 billion (3.03 billion pounds) sale to Sinclair and filed a lawsuit, saying the rival TV-station owner mishandled efforts to get the transaction approved by taking too long and being too aggressive in its dealings with regulators.

“Today, we filed our response to Tribune’s complaint, along with a counterclaim against Tribune for breaching the merger agreement,” Sinclair Chief Executive Officer Chris Ripley said in a statement.

“As described in our filing, we fully complied with our obligations under the merger agreement and worked tirelessly to close the transaction. The Company looks forward to vigorously defending against Tribune’s claims and pursuing our own claim.”

Sinclair announced on May 8, 2017, that it wanted to buy Tribune’s 42 television stations in 33 U.S. markets and cable network WGN America.

The Sinclair deal was scuttled this month after the Federal Communications Commission opposed the deal, questioning Sinclair’s candour over the planned sale of some stations.

(Reporting by Arjun Panchadar in Bengaluru; Editing by Saumyadeb Chakrabarty)

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