Sinclair Broadcast Group, Department of Justice and FCC didn't immediately respond to requests for comment.
Those transactions involved selling highly valuable stations to buyers with business ties to Sinclair for below-market prices, the FCC alleged.
Sinclair, which owns 192 stations, said in May 2017 that it planned to acquire Chicago-based Tribune´s 42 TV stations in 33 markets in a deal that would significantly expand its reach. "The complaint seeks compensation for all losses incurred as a result of Sinclair's material breaches of the merger agreement". According to The New York Times, FCC chair Ajit Pai said he had "serious concerns" about the proposed merger.
Sinclair CEO Chris Ripley said Wednesday that Sinclair was working with Tribune to save the merger.More news: Want a discount on an IKEA couch? Take a trip to India
Sinclair used "unnecessarily aggressive and protracted negotiations" with the Department of Justice and Federal Communications Commission over regulatory requirements, the Chicago company said, and it refused to sell the stations it needed to in order to gain regulatory approval.
The termination of the merger talks come on the day after the merger agreement expired.
The FCC voted last month to refer the proposed merger to an administrative law judge to review questions about Sinclair's candor, a move that analysts had then said would likely lead to the deal's collapse. "Further delay and uncertainly would be detrimental to our company, our business partners and our shareholders, and accordingly, our board made a decision to terminate the merger agreement with Sinclair".
By filing a lawsuit against Sinclair, Kern said, Tribune intends to "hold Sinclair accountable".
The merger would've created the largest local broadcaster in America.More news: Arsenal chief Burgess: No pushback from players over Emery's new training methods
But the FCC had issues with the way Sinclair was approaching these sales and was concerned the company could buy the stations back after the merger was complete.
Sinclair also has become a significant outlet for conservative perspectives.
Free media advocacy groups cheered the demise of the deal.
"While what has apparently killed this deal was Sinclair's pattern of deception at the FCC - a fact that should affect its future dealings at the Commission - the deal was bad on its own merits, and this latest development is good for consumers", said Phillip Berenbroick, senior policy counsel at the organization. "But we expect more efforts from the media titans in the future to tighten their grip on the information marketplace". The Tribune deal, plus other pending acquisitions, will give Sinclair a total of 233 TV stations.More news: Samsung Note 9 to have 512GB internal memory