WASHINGTON, July 19 (Reuters) - Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc "did not fully disclose facts" about aspects of its $3.9 billion acquisition of Tribune Media, the Federal Communications Commission said in an order released on Thursday that referred the issue to an administrative law judge for a hearing.
The order is a serious blow to Sinclair's bid to acquire Tribune. Sinclair had sought to remove questions about three stations referenced in the order by dropping divestiture plans on Tuesday. The FCC said the judge will review if Sinclair engaged in misrepresentation or a lack of candor and if the deal would violate the FCC's broadcast ownership rules. (Reporting by David Shepardson; Editing by Steve Orlofsky)