American Radio Systems, Inc., based in Boston, originally sought to acquire four
stations in the Rochester area. According to the complaint, filed jointly by New York
and the Department of Justice Antitrust Division, the proposed acquisition, along with
a joint sales agreement, would have given American Radio control over more than 60
percent of radio advertising time sales in Rochester. Under the terms of the settlement, American Radio will divest WHAM-AM, Rochester?s most popular station, WVOR-FM, which competes directly with an American Radio-owned station, and WCMF-AM. American Radio will retain
WCMF-FM, WPXY-FM and WHTK-AM, which account for about 40 percent of the radio
advertising revenues in Rochester.
The settlement also requires termination of a joint sales agreement between
American Radio and Great Lakes Wireless Talking Machine LLC. The joint sales
agreement gave American Radio the exclusive right to price and sell all the advertising time of WNVE-FM, a direct competitor of American Radio?s stations. According to the complaint, this agreement constitutes an illegal restraint of trade.