Tribune Media said Thursday that it would scrap its $3.9 billion merger with Sinclair Broadcast Group and sue Sinclair for "breach of contract," Fox Business reports. Tribune says Sinclair promised to make a reasonable attempt to get prompt regulatory approval, but conducted unnecessarily aggressive and slow negotiations with the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission.
The deal began to unravel last month when the FCC raised "serious concerns" about the merger, which would have created a company reaching up to 70 million households. Sinclair had said the merger would be "transformational." Tribune CEO Peter Kern said in a statement that the FCC referred "the issue of Sinclair's conduct" for a special hearing, creating unacceptable "uncertainty and delay," The Washington Post reports. Harold Maass
"First of all, both Ted and I are both running vibrant national campaigns, so the voters are going to have to provide the consolidation — it’s not going to be a deal between candidates," Rubio said while speaking with Fox News. "And that just never happens, and it isn't going to happen now."
Meanwhile, writing at the conservative National Review, Jonah Goldberg holds out hope for just such a partnership:
One possibility would be for Rubio and Cruz to cut a deal... If the two factions — which make up the overwhelming majority of Republican voters — could be unified, it might be enough to stop Trump.
What would the deal look like? A Rubio–Cruz ticket. Cruz won't work at the top of the ticket for the simple reason that too many GOP quislings fear Cruz more than Trump. But a unity ticket — a la Reagan–Bush in 1980 — in the form of Los Hermanos Cubanos might just do the trick. [National Review]
Saying there had been "no agreement on any nuclear topic," Iran's foreign ministry spokeswoman Marzieh Afkham denied on Saturday reports that the country had reached a new agreement with the United States.
"Such news is spread out of political motives and its goal is to tarnish the climate of the talks and make it more complicated to reach a settlement," she said in comments reported by Reuters.
On Friday, The Associated Press reported that Iran and the U.S. had reached a tentative agreement to ship Iran's surplus enriched uranium to Russia. But Tehran denied those reports a day later, suggesting negotiations will remain tough when Iran and "P5+1" — the United States, Russia, China, France, Britain, and Germany — renew low-level talks on Jan. 15. Sarah Eberspacher
Sprint's summer flirtation with buying smaller competitor T-Mobile is over, Bloomberg Businessweek reports, citing "a person with knowledge of the matter." The deciding factor in Sprint dropping its reported $32 billion bid for T-Mobile was the likelihood that U.S. antitrust regulators would block the deal.
At the same time, Bloomberg says, Sprint is replacing CEO Dan Hesse — the guy in the commercials — with Marcelo Claure, the founder of cellphone distributor Brightstar Corp. Sprint and T-Mobile are the No. 3 and 4 U.S. wireless companies, respectively, after Verizon and AT&T. Peter Weber