One condition in Clear Channel buyout

Group must shed 4 stations

WASHINGTON -- Antitrust authorities agreed to approve the $19.5 billion buyout of the nation's largest radio group on Wednesday if the company sells four radio stations.

The Department of Justice said that purchase of a controlling interest in Clear Channel by group of private equity investors led by Bain Capital and Thomas H. Lee Partners would raise antitrust concerns in four areas because the firms have significant interests in competing media companies

According to the department's order the group must sell stations in Cincinnati, Houston, Las Vegas and San Francisco.

Bain and THL have ownership interests in Cumulus Media Partners LLC, and THL also has an ownership interest in Univision Communications Inc. (Univision), a large nationwide operator of radio stations that broadcast primarily in Spanish.

"Without the divestitures obtained by the Department, advertisers that rely on radio advertising in the affected cities likely would have faced higher prices," said the department's antitrust boss Thomas O. Barnett. "The divestitures will ensure that advertisers will continue to receive the benefits of competition."
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