According to a May 26 filing, Cox Communications, CBS, and Fox have agreed to settle a long-running TV advertising antitrust complaint for $48 million and will “provide meaningful cooperation” to assist plaintiffs in their case against the remaining defendants. Those respondents incorporate Meredith, Nexstar, Raycom, Scripps, Sinclair, TEGNA and Tribune.
In 2018, a number of complaints were filed across the country alleging that the broadcasters and their sales firms “secretly orchestrated a scheme to supracompetitively impact the price levels of broadcast television spot advertisements by agreeing to fix prices and exchange competitively sensitive historic, current, and forward-looking sales data.” This was the beginning of the litigation. The issues were united under the watchful eye of an Illinois government court and in 2019 a revised grievance was documented that additional litigants and consolidated charges from the DOJ’s grumbling against the significant telecasters over their sharing of promoting information. ( Two separate settlements were used to settle the DOJ’s issue.)
According to the filing that is embedded below, a significant amount of information was analyzed during discovery, including more than 14 million documents produced by the defendants and 1.4 million pages of telephone records from companies that were subpoenaed, such as AT&T and Verizon.
CBS began negotiations for a settlement in the summer of 2021 and reached a preliminary agreement by the year’s end. The company agreed to pay $5 million as part of the final agreement, which was signed earlier this month. The timeline for Fox’s negotiations was similar, and it will pay $6 million. Cox will pay the majority of the settlement, $37 million. They didn’t start talking about a settlement until a mediation in January 2022, but the next month, they agreed on important terms of the deal.
In the event that endorsed by the court, the settlement asset will be distributed in view of how much a class part spent on television promotions during the significant time span.
The gatherings are additionally asking the U.S. Region Judge Virginia M. Kendall to endorse the settlement class, which is characterized as: ” From January 1, 2014 to December 31, 2018, (the “Settlement Class Period”), “all persons and entities in the United States who purchased broadcast television spot advertising directly from one or more Broadcaster Defendants in a designated market area (a “DMA”) within which two or more Broadcaster Defendants sold broadcast television spot advertisements on broadcast television stations,” including anyone who directly paid one or more Defendants for all or a portion of the cost of such broadcast television spot advertisements.” This excludes the federal government as well as the defendants, their affiliated companies, officers, directors, employees, and immediate family members.)
Source – Hollywoodreporter