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Court Grants Nexstar’s Motion To Dismiss DirecTV’s Antitrust Claims

A federal court on Wednesday granted Nexstar’s motion to dismiss DirecTV’s antitrust claims.

Cablefax reported the court ruled there was a lack of antitrust standing.

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DirecTV claimed Nexstar violated federal antitrust law by engaging in an illegal conspiracy with partners Mission and White Knight to manipulate, raise, and fix prices of retransmission consent fees.

DirecTV had Nexstar were blacked out for two months last year before reaching a retransmission consent renewal. But it hasn’t reached renewals with Nexstar’s shared services partners Mission or White Knight, with those stations off its lineup since October 2022.

The opinion by judge Kevin Castel said that DirecTV did not enter into deals with Mission or White Knight that would have required it to pay what it alleges to be “supracompetitive” fees.

Thus, DirecTV customers experienced blackouts that caused them to cancel or not review services, causing a profit loss.

“Its losses therefore flow from its own choice to exit the market. While this choice may have been influenced by Defendants’ demands, it does not result from Defendants’ claimed unlawful acts, i.e., the extraction of supracompetitive prices,” the court said. DirecTV lacks antitrust standing because “it would not be an efficient enforcer of the antitrust laws,” the court concluded.

DirecTV did not say whether it will appeal the ruling.

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