Supreme Court Won’t Stop Antitrust Trial for Comcast

Supreme Court Won’t Stop Antitrust Trial for Comcast

BY ERIQ GARDNER | HollywoodReporter.Com

Troy Warren for CNT

The high court won’t take up Viamedia’s suit on the advertising front after Biden’s Justice Dept. recommended against review.

Comcast’s hopes of avoiding an antitrust trial with Viamedia were dashed on Monday when Supreme Court rejected the cable giant’s petition for review.

Viamedia is suing Comcast for monopolizing local TV ad sales. The plaintiff alleges that Comcast is using its control of “interconnects” — local cooperatives serving pay-TV providers — to pressure ad clients from being represented by Viamedia.

The five-year-old case was revived in Feb. 2020 by the 7th Circuit.

The key legal issue in this antitrust case has become when exactly it’s actionable for an entity to refuse to deal with a rival.

Comcast insists that the proper test under precedent is when the refusal makes “no economic sense,” but the 7th Circuit adopted a more nuanced approach.

After Comcast petitioned for review, the justices asked the Acting Solicitor General for the government’s views. That’s typically a sign of interest in the case.

The Biden Administration recommended against a review.

That led to a blistering response from Comcast, which accused the Biden-era DOJ of lacking the courage to stand by its convictions. Now, though, Comcast will have to return to the trial court and get ready to defend its moves on the ad front.

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By Troy Warren

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