A PYMNTS Company

US: Judge deals blow to FTC in DirectTV case

 |  August 16, 2018

A California US District Judgehas ruled that the Federal Trade Commission failed to prove DirecTV’s TV, print, or electronic banner ads in its “ditch cable” campaign were unfair or deceptive or contained affirmatively false info, reported Wall Street Journal.

It has yet to weigh in on whether the satellite operators’ web site info was misleading or deceptive, so the case is not quite over. But FTC’s case was dealt a big blow.

At issue was a 2015 lawsuit by the US Federal Trade Commission that alleged DirecTV didn’t adequately disclose that its lower promotional prices lasted only for the first year of a two-year contract. The FTC also alleged the pay-TV service offered free months of premium channels without telling customers they needed to cancel those channels at the end of the promotional period to avoid monthly charges.

Judge Haywood Gilliam held a bench trial last year. Once the FTC presented its case, DirecTV argued it was entitled to a favorable ruling without having to put on a defense. Defendants routinely make such requests, but they aren’t often granted.

Judge Gilliam on Thursday agreed with many of the company’s arguments, ruling the FTC had failed to prove that any of DirecTV’s print, television or electronic banner ads were unlawful. The FTC hadn’t established that the ads were likely to mislead reasonable consumers, the judge said.

Full Content: The Wall Street Journal

Want more news? Subscribe to CPI’s free daily newsletter for more headlines and updates on antitrust developments around the world.