Business Briefs – May 8, 2017

Sinclair to Buy Tribune Media For $3.9 Billion Plus Debt

(Chicago Tribune/TNS) – Sinclair Broadcast Group has agreed to buy Tribune Media in a cash and stock deal valued at $3.9 billion, the companies announced Monday. Sinclair will acquire Chicago-based Tribune Media’s 42 TV stations and other assets, making the largest station owner in the country even bigger, pending approval from the Federal Communications Commission and federal antitrust regulators. Baltimore-based Sinclair will pay $43.50 a share for Tribune Media, and will assume approximately $2.7 billion in net debt.

Bumble Bee Foods Fined $25 Million, Admits Price Fixing

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Tuna-canning company Bumble Bee Foods has agreed to pay a $25 million fine after pleading guilty to conspiring with competitors to fix prices, the U.S. Department of Justice said Monday. The San Diego-based company will also cooperate with an ongoing antitrust investigation into the packaged seafood industry, the federal agency said.

Buffett Faults United, But Sticks With Airlines Investments

NEW YORK (AP) – Warren Buffett said Monday that United Airlines bungled the case of the passenger dragged off a plane last month, and he criticized the CEO’s handling of the incident.

Buffett also said airplanes “may become like cattle cars,” but that’s because a significant number of passengers will put up with crowding in exchange for cheaper fares.

Buffett, whose Berkshire Hathaway Inc. is United’s largest shareholder and has large stakes in other big U.S. airlines, said the recent spotlight on poor customer service in the airline industry doesn’t change his investment strategy.

After the market closed Monday, United reported that passenger traffic in April rose 7.4 percent, compared with a year ago. That beat Delta’s 1.6 percent gain but fell short of Southwest’s 8.4 per-cent increase.