MLB Anti-Trust Settlement Hits Snag with Objector

Back in 2012, a class-action lawsuit was filed against Major League Baseball and some of its broadcast partners, including Comcast and DirecTV, alleging that the high prices for “out of market” games and the blackouts of local “in market” telecasts constituted violations of the Sherman Antitrust Act. The suit accused the defendants of protecting exclusive territories that had been carved out for live-game video presentation using “anticompetitive blackouts.” However, recently it seemed that the lawsuit was coming to an end, with Forbes reporting that the…
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Fans Granted Class Certification in NHL and MLB Blackout Litigation

On Thursday, May 14, Judge Scheindlin of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York, granted class certification to the consumers suing the MLB, NHL, and broadcasters over blackout dates and high prices for sports packages. The fans brought their lawsuit back in 2012 against both leagues, individual clubs, Comcast, and DirecTV, claiming that broadcast restrictions violated antitrust law. Those restrictions specifically include territorial blackouts for consumers who purchase large sports packages claiming to carry all games as well as many providers’…
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NHL Says No Common Question, No Common Answer, No Class Certification

In a court document released last week, NHL, Comcast, and others urged that the court should not grant a class certification to a group of TV broadcasting service subscribers who brought an antitrust action.  The defendants including NHL, Comcast, MLB and others argued that since the plaintiffs had failed to show common impact with common evidence, granting a class certification was not proper. In 2012, the subscribers commenced the suit alleging that the restrictions imposed by the NHL and MLB on local TV broadcasters are…
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On March 27, 2013, in a narrow 5-4 ruling, the U.S. Supreme Court reversed and remanded a Third Circuit decision upholding the class-action certification in a lawsuit accusing Comcast Corp. of unlawfully monopolizing the Philadelphia cable market. The Court’s decision to reverse the appellate court ruling hinged on the methodology the Third Circuit used in calculating damages – namely, that the decision to certify the class had impermissibly ignored expert testimony and wrongfully added damage amounts related to claims that had been dismissed.  Justice Scalia…
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Supreme Court to Review Comcast Class Certification Appeal

The Supreme Court announced on June 25, 2012, that it will be reviewing the Third Circuit U.S. Court of Appeals’ decision in Comcast v. Behrend.  The Court will limit its review to the question of “[w]hether a district court may certify a class action without resolving whether the plaintiff class has introduced admissible evidence, including expert testimony, to show that the case is susceptible to awarding damages on a class-wide basis.”  Comcast sought the review, arguing that the plaintiff class does not have the…
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