CBS, Cox, Fox Pay To Settle Suit Over Artificially Inflating Prices

CBS, Cox, and Fox have reached a settlement to pay a combined amount of $48 million to resolve allegations in an Illinois federal court that they were involved in a scheme with other prominent US broadcasters to unlawfully boost television advertising rates.

On Friday, a motion was filed by advertising buyers to seek approval of settlements with three broadcast companies that had been reached in 2021 and 2022, along with an agreement with a sales tracking company that was allegedly involved in the scheme, as reported by Law360.

CBS Corp. will pay $5 million, Fox Corp. will pay $6 million, and entities affiliated with Cox Media Group will pay $37 million to settle claims against them. The companies will also cooperate with the buyers in the ongoing case.

The motion states that ShareBuilders Inc., a sales tracking company which had claims dismissed without prejudice last year, will offer cooperation but no financial settlement for the claims against it.

The motion stated that the four settlements, which were negotiated by knowledgeable counsel, are fair and suitable for the proposed settlement classes.

The multidistrict litigation, which began in 2018, involves lawsuits from multiple ad buyers, including advertising agencies. The allegations claim that major media companies inflated advertising prices and shared sensitive information with one another. Discovery in the case has been contentious, with the court denying a bid from broadcasters to dismiss the allegations in 2020.