DirecTV’s Antitrust Lawsuit Against Nexstar Dismissed by Judge

A federal judge in the Southern District of New York has dismissed the antitrust lawsuit DirecTV filed against Nexstar a year ago.

“DirecTV’s injuries are too indirect and speculative to confer antitrust standing,” the decision stated.

In addition, the ruling said the court “declines to exercise supplemental jurisdiction over Plaintiff’s remaining state law claims and dismisses them without prejudice.”

In its lawsuit, filed in March 2023, DirecTV accused Nexstar — America’s largest TV station operator — of engaging in an illegal conspiracy with Mission Broadcasting and White Knight Broadcasting to fix prices via “supracompetitive retransmission consent fees.” Meaning, above-market billing to DirecTV in markets where Nexstar and one of the other companies have overlapping coverage.

But DirecTV, the ruling explains, didn’t renew agreements with Mission and White Knight when they expired in 2022 in a dispute over how much they charged. This led to blackouts for customers in their markets. But since DirecTV hadn’t entered into any agreement with Mission or White Knight “which would have required it to pay what it alleges to be ‘supracompetitive’ fees,” the company’s losses from any blackouts “therefore flow from its own choice to exit the market.”

In a statement provided to media outlets, DirecTV said, “This ruling sets a dangerous precedent that a victim of price-fixing needs to pay the inflated price before it can make a claim in court.” According to Variety, the company may appeal.

In its own statement, NexStar said, “We’ll let the court’s decision speak for itself.”

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

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