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DirecTV to Appeal Court Decision in Antitrust Challenge Against Nexstar

 |  April 16, 2024

DirecTV has announced its intention to appeal the US District Court for the Southern District of New York’s decision regarding its antitrust challenge against Nexstar. The court’s ruling, issued on March 20, granted Nexstar’s motion to dismiss DirecTV’s claims.

The legal dispute stems from a lawsuit filed by DirecTV in March 2023, alleging that Nexstar, along with Mission Broadcasting and White Knight, violated federal antitrust laws. DirecTV asserts that the companies conspired to manipulate, raise, and fix prices of retransmission consent fees. However, the lower court concluded that DirecTV’s purported injuries were too indirect and speculative to establish antitrust standing.

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Following the court’s decision, the Federal Communications Commission (FCC) made a separate determination regarding Nexstar and Mission’s conduct. The FCC found that the broadcasters apparently violated several Commission rules, including exceeding the 39% national audience cap through transactions involving WPIX. As a result, the agency proposed significant fines, with Nexstar facing a forfeiture of over $1.2 million and Mission facing a fine exceeding $600,000. Both companies have until April 30 to either pay or appeal the proposed penalties.

DirecTV’s decision to appeal the court’s ruling underscores the significance of the case and the potential implications for the pay TV industry. The appeal will be made to the Second Circuit, marking the continuation of the legal battle between the parties.

Source: Next TV