Biden Admin agrees with antitrust lawsuit for Comcast – The Hollywood Reporter
As observers wait to see whether Biden-era regulators give the thumbs up or the thumbs down on mega media mergers, the new administration has stepped under the radar on the antitrust front this week. by weighing in on a petition from Comcast to the Supreme Court.
In February 2020, the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals overturned a lower court and opened a lawsuit against Comcast for monopolizing sales of local TV ads. Viamedia is taking on the cable TV giant and is particularly upset with how Comcast has allegedly exploited control over ‘interconnects’ – local clearinghouses that serve pay-TV providers on the local advertising front. . According to the lawsuit, Comcast told Viamedia customers that they would only have access to the interconnects if they ended their relationship with Viamedia and purchased services from Comcast instead.
Comcast wants the High Court to take a look at it, and in December the justices asked the acting solicitor general for the government’s perspective. This is usually a very strong sign of interest in taking the matter in hand.
In a brief filed on May 25 (read here), Acting Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar explains why the Supreme Court should not grant reconsideration while dodging a firm view of the key issue in this case – when an entity’s refusal to negotiate becomes punishable by antitrust perspective. This topic prompted the Trump-era DOJ to tell the lower court of appeals what the test should be (“no economic sense”), but here it is enough for the 7th Circuit to justify itself regardless of the criteria. In other words, an antitrust lawsuit against Comcast gets quasi-approval.
In other news:
“The tech industry is suing Florida over a recently enacted law that fines social media companies for ‘willfully misrepresenting’ political candidates and removing content from a ‘journalistic enterprise’. the complaint says a compelling speech like this on private platforms is an affront to the First Amendment, and complainants also have choice words to explain how the legislation exempts those who own and operate theme parks. An obvious reference to Disney and Universal, republican sponsor told a local newspaper last month, it aimed to ensure that Disney Plus “doesn’t get trapped in this.”
“The Philadelphia 76ers could indeed win the NBA title this year, but its star player Joel Embiid was blocked by CNBC reality star Marcus Lemonis for the ‘Trust the Process’ brand. Here is a decision Wednesday of the Trademark Trial and Appeal Commission.
—An FTC lawyer won writing credits on a Liam Neeson film. Nick May continued Ozark co-creator Mark Williams a year ago and now has settled down. The settlement agreement also confirms that May will receive net profits (if any) from Black light. Here are the complete rules.