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US: Viamedia antitrust suit vs Comcast over cable TV ads halted

 |  August 19, 2018

Last week a Chicago federal judge has pulled the plug on an antitrust legal fight over whether Comcast had used its position to improperly squelch competition in the market for local spot cable TV advertising.

Amy J. St. Eve, who now serves as a circuit judge on the US Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals, delivered a win to Comcast in its dispute with rival Viamedia, granting summary judgment to the multimedia giant.

“Undisputed facts demonstrate that Comcast’s refusal to deal with Viamedia – not coercive conduct directed at their mutual customers – is what caused Viamedia’s injuries and damages,” Judge St. Eve wrote in her decision.

According to the decision, Judge St. Eve presided over the case by special designation. She had handled the case as a US District Judge, before she was appointed by President Donald Trump to the Seventh Circuit earlier this year.

The lawsuit had landed in federal court in Chicago initially in May 2016, when Viamedia, a New York-based seller of local cable television advertising had filed its complaint against Comcast, alleging the cable TV and Internet provider had violated federal antitrust law when it blocked Viamedia from selling ads on cable TV networks in the Comcast-dominated Chicago and Detroit cable TV markets.

Judge St. Eve disagreed, however, saying it merely represented Comcast refusing to do business with a rival.

Full Content: Cook Country Record

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