US FCC Faces Internal Probe Into Chairman Ajit Pai's Actions, Says Lawmaker

US FCC Faces Internal Probe Into Chairman Ajit Pai's Actions, Says Lawmaker

US FCC Faces Internal Probe Into Chairman Ajit Pai's Actions, Says Lawmaker

A watchdog within the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) is probing the panel's Chairman, Ajit Pai.

That is according to Rep. The investigation is focused on whether or not there was any coordination between Pai, Sinclair and Trump.

Pai's critics have noted that he has pushed through a number of deregulatory proposals that appear to clear regulatory obstacles from Sinclair's proposed expansion. In an official investigation uncovered by The New York Times, it turns out that even top officials at the FCC have reason to believe that something wasn't right.

"I am particularly concerned about reports that Chairman Pai may have coordinated with Sinclair to time a series of commission actions to benefit the company", he continued. On Thursday this week, Pallone appeared to confirm the story in two tweets in which he said: "I am grateful to the FCC's inspector general that he has chose to take up this important investigation".

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The FCC IG declined to comment publicly on whether it is investigating, but Hunt informed Congressional aides that it is investigating during a meeting in December, the Times article said.

The extent of the investigation is unclear, nor is how long it will take.

Free Press has raised serious concerns that the FCC chairman was acting deliberately and with extreme bias to lift any public-interest safeguards that would prevent the massive merger from being approved.

It is something of a chicken and egg issue.

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Attorneys general in four states - Illinois, Maryland, Massachusetts and Rhode Island - have come out in opposition to the merger, saying the bolstered Sinclair would have too much national power and could stifle points of view in local markets.

But Pai said the FCC review of Sinclair's purchase was by the book and there's nothing new about his push for deregulation since he has always been an advocate of loosening restrictions on media companies' ability to consolidate and buy up competitors. "They have not been fueled by a desire to help any particular company", Pai wrote.

"Chairman Pai has for many years called on the FCC to update its media ownership regulations to match the realities of the modern marketplace", the statement said.

Shortly after taking office in February, Pai announced he would overturn longstanding FCC rules about how many stations any one company could own.

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Last year, the FCC reinstated the UHF discount, a rule that allows broadcasters to count UHF signals at 50% toward the national audience reach cap.

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