Little Rock lawyer sues Sinclair Broadcast and Tribune Media for ad price fixing | Arkansas Blog

Wednesday, August 1, 2018

Little Rock lawyer sues Sinclair Broadcast and Tribune Media for ad price fixing

Posted By on Wed, Aug 1, 2018 at 7:32 AM

click to enlarge pm_mobile-lp_header.jpg
The  Law Offices of Peter Miller of Little Rock is the plaintiff in a class action antitrust lawsuit in federal court in Maryland against Sinclair Broadcast, Tribune Media and Tribune Broadcasting for allegedly conspiring to fix advertising prices.


The lawsuit says instead of competing, the defendants shared information and fixed prices to stifle competition. Sinclair, the suit says, owns 193 stations in 90 cities (including KATV in Little Rock) and Tribune owns 43 stations (including KFSM in Fort Smith-Fayetteville). The companies have been trying to merge, but have been stymied so far by the Federal Communication Commission because of concerns about excessive ownership of media.

The suit says the alleged price-fixing was a response to slowing revenue tied to the rise of digital advertising.

One response to this reduction in revenue growth has been to seek to achieve economies of scale and expand respective customer bases via mergers with and acquisitions of other broadcast television companies. 
The suit, filed for Miller by the national class action law firm Kessler Topaz Melzer and Check (a periodic player in Arkansas judicial races), says the pricing actions date back to 2016. The suit broadly describes changing business circumstances in broadcasting and amounts to an attack on the Sinclair-Tribune effort to dominate the broadcast market in the U.S. It notes the Justice Department has also been investigating the issue.

I can't find a reaction from the defendants in web news coverage, but I expect them to deny the allegation and, as they say, defend vigorously.

Miller, the suit said, has been a purchaser of TV ads during the time in question. There's an enormous amount of money at issue. The companies' gross revenue is over $4 billion.

Tags: , , , ,


Favorite

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

More by Max Brantley

  • Another approach on paying for cancer research: A real tax on smoking

    Things are developing on the blowback I reported last week to legislation written by the tobacco lobby to theoretically help pay for a cancer research institute at UAMS, but actually a Trojan horse for Big Tobacco. One development is a new bill that would impose a meaningful tax on e-cigarettes.
    • Feb 18, 2019
  • Minimum teacher pay going up by $1,000

    Gov. Asa Hutchinson announced he will sign today legislation that promises a $1,000-a-year minimum teacher pay increase each of the next four years.
    • Feb 18, 2019
  • Know your history? Survey says most don't, particularly in Arkansas

    For today's holiday, the Woodrow Wilson National Fellowship Foundation prepared a 20-question quiz on American history. 60 percent flunked and Arkansas responses put us in the bottom five states.
    • Feb 18, 2019
  • More »

Readers also liked…

  • Is Arkansas in or out on Kobach voter data effort?

    The Washington Post has published a map that counts Arkansas as among states that will "partially comply" with a sweeping request for voter data by the so-called election integrity commission set up by Donald Trump in an effort to cast doubt on Hillary Clinton's 3 million-vote popular defeat of him in 2016.
    • Jul 2, 2017
  • Greenbrier's paddling of student protester goes worldwide

    The paddling of Greenbrier High School students who joined in te national school walkout Wednesday has produced headlines worldwide.
    • Mar 17, 2018
  • Rep. Mary Bentley's website now supports gay rights

    Somebody has cybersquatted on Republican Rep. Mary Bentley's website, replacing her messaging with a call for equal rights for LGBTQ people.
    • Jul 18, 2017

Slideshows

Most Recent Comments

 

© 2019 Arkansas Times | 201 East Markham, Suite 200, Little Rock, AR 72201
Powered by Foundation