Ajit Pai is the man who spearheaded the demise of net neutrality in the US, a move that earned him worldwide infamy. Many claimed that he's corrupt in the past but for the first time there might be firm evidence for such assertions.
Sadly, the process in which Ajit Pai helped kill net neutrality was legal, but it doesn't mean he is not corrupt. Apparently he pushed for a different set of rules that allowed TV broadcasting companies to increase the number of stations they own. Soon after, Sinclair Broadcasting announced they were buying Tribune Media in a £2.78 billion deal.
The blockbuster move combined with the rule change that just happened to be timed right when it would benefit Sinclair raised some eyebrows. As a result, FCC's inspector general opened an investigation into whether Pai and his aides pushed for the rule change improperly. The investigation was undisclosed at first.
In a statement for New York Times, Representative Frank Pallone noted that he's been trying for months to get to the bottom of allegations about Pai's involvement with Sinclair Broadcasting. He also extended his gratitude to the FCC's inspector general since he ''decided to take up this important investigation.''
As of now, the extent of the investigation is unknown, nor is it known how long it might take. On the other side, both Pai and Sinclair Broadcast Group have so far refused to address the topic - publicly at least, but this turn of events might force them to do so.
What makes the topic somewhat more intriguing is that Attorneys general in four states have opposed the merger, claiming that SBG already had too much media power and growing its whopping 191 station network by another 42 from the Tribune deal could restrain points of view in local markets.
Ajit Pai giving large service providing companies the power to tinker with information flow and what services the users can have privileged or restricted access to in the media sounds oddly familiar.