21 FEB 2024

FuboTV sues Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery for antitrust practices

The case comes after the three companies announced their plans to launch a streaming service offering an all-in-one sports programming package.

21 FEB 2024

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Sports-focused streaming service FuboTV has filed an antitrust lawsuit against The Walt Disney Company, Fox Corp., and Warner Bros. Discovery after the three companies had announced their plans to launch a streaming service offering an all-in-one package of programming that would include television channels, such as ESPN, TNT, and FS1, and streamed sports content.

Fubo stated: "The vertically-integrated media companies have engaged in a years-long campaign to block Fubo's innovative sports-first streaming business resulting in significant harm to both Fubo and consumers." The complaint alleges that the forthcoming launch of a sports-streaming joint venture "steals Fubo's playbook and is the latest example of this campaign."

The company claims that the three companies have "engaged in a long-running pattern of stymying Fubo's sports-first streaming service by engaging in anti-competitive practices." As described in the complaint, "For decades, Defendants have leveraged their iron grip on sports content to extract billions of dollars in supra-competitive profits by engaging in practices causing consumers to pay more for highly popular sports content and resulting in significant damages to both Fubo and its customers."

David Gandler, Co-founder and CEO of Fubo, commented: "Each of these companies has consistently engaged in anticompetitive practices that aim to monopolize the market, stifle any form of competition, create higher pricing for subscribers and cheat consumers from deserved choice. By joining together to exclusively reserve the rights to distribute a specialized live sports package, we believe these corporations are erecting insurmountable barriers that will effectively block any new competitors from entering the market. This strategy ensures that consumers desiring a dedicated sports channel lineup are left with no alternative but to subscribe to the Defendants' joint venture."

Additionally, Fubo claims the Defendants: "Have restricted Fubo from offering compelling streaming products that consumers would find desirable, despite similar products being offered by other traditional pay TV and streaming services, including the Defendants' own Hulu service."

"We have previously collaborated with each of these companies so that we could offer 'must-have' sports content to Fubo customers. For many years, they have challenged our business at every opportunity through pernicious practices. While other new competitors were prevented from entering the market, Fubo has continuously fought back. The Defendants' unconscionable practices have impacted our ability to grow and have deprived consumers of a compelling and competitively-priced product. Simply put, this sports cartel blocked our playbook for many years, and now they are effectively stealing it for themselves," added Gandler.