Justice Department Files Anti-Trust Suit Against Six TV Station Groups and Then Immediately Files to Settle the Suit. The Justice Dept. Says the Suit Is About the ‘Unlawful Sharing of Competitively Sensitive’ Information on Advertising

Nov 14, 2018  •  Post A Comment

“The Justice Department has settled with six groups of broadcasters over what DOJ said was the ‘unlawful sharing of competitively sensitive’ information on advertising that reduced competition and harmed local business,” reports B&C.

The story, written by our friend John Eggerton, adds that the Justice Department is “still investigating.”

The article explains that “DOJ filed an antitrust suit against the companies — Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc.; Raycom Media Inc.; Tribune Media Company; Meredith Corporation; Griffin Communications; and Dreamcatcher Broadcasting LLC — with the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia, then immediately filed the proposed settlement that it said would ‘resolve the lawsuit’s alleged competitive harm alleged in the complaint.’”

The story adds, “Justice said the stations ‘agreed in many metropolitan areas across the United States to exchange revenue pacing information, and certain defendants also engaged in the exchange of other forms of non-public sales information in certain metropolitan areas. Pacing compares a broadcast station’s revenues booked for a certain time period to the revenues booked in the same point in the previous year. Pacing indicates how each station is performing versus the rest of the market and provides insight into each station’s remaining spot advertising for the period.’”

The station groups named agreed to stop sharing such information and to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

The article also notes that the settlement did not include any fines.

To read Eggerton’s complete story, please click here.

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