Gannett's acquisition of TV stations in St. Louis, Phoenix and Tucson, Ariz., as part of its $2.2 billion purchase of Belo's broadcast holdings could lead to "collusive" retransmission-consent negotiations, resulting in higher fees and potentially more programming blackouts, according to a filing by Time Warner Cable, the American Cable Association and DIRECTV. The parties say Gannett's plan for transferring control of the five stations amounts to a "series of shills or 'third-party sidecars'" to evade ownership restrictions under Federal Communications Commission rules.

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