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JUSTICE DEPT. SUES AT&T, DIRECTV FOR ALLEGED DEALS TO BLOCK DODGER’S CHANNEL

The Justice Department has filed a lawsuit against DirecTV and its corporate successor AT&T for allegedly sharing information with competitors that prevented many Los Angeles Dodger fans from watching games on TV for the last three seasons.

The lawsuit alleges that DirecTV unlawfully exchanged “competitively sensitive” information with Cox, Charter and AT&T during the companies’ negotiations for the right to telecast the channel owned by the Dodgers.

The suit accuses DirecTV and each of the competitors of agreeing to and exchanging non-public information about their companies’ ongoing negotiations to telecast the Dodgers Channel, as well as their companies’ future plans to carry – or not carry – the channel.

The reason behind this alleged collusion, according to the lawsuit, was to obtain bargaining leverage and to reduce the risk that they would lose subscribers if they decided not to carry the channel but a competitor chose to do so.

The complaint further alleges that the information learned through these unlawful agreements was a material factor in the companies’ decisions not to carry the Dodgers Channel. The Dodgers Channel is still not carried by DirecTV, Cox or AT&T.

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