Feds Give OK for Tribune's Cubs Sale

By: E&P Staff Tribune Co.'s $845 million sale of the Chicago Cubs and its landmark Wrigley Field venue has passed antitrust muster, the flagship Chicago Tribune reported Tuesday.

In an unbylined story, the Tribune reported U.S. antitrust authorities had no objections to the sale, according to a Federal Trade Commission report on mergers and acquisitions that filed last Friday.

Antitrust approval had not been in doubt, but the size of the sale, which also includes Tribune Co.'s stake in a regional sports cable channel, required government review.

The heavily indebted Tribune, which entered bankruptcy reorganization last December, is selling the Cubs and its related assets to the Ricketts family, founder of the TD Ameritrade discount brokerage.

The sale must also be approved by three-quarters of Major League Baseball team owners, which is expected, and by the U.S. bankruptcy judge overseeing Tribune's Chapter 11 case. Last month, the judge, Kevin Carey, put the review of the Cubs sale on an accelerated review. Objections are due Sept. 17, and will be followed by a Sept. 24 court hearing on Tribune's motion for approval of the sale.


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