US: AT&T, Fox Square off over document confidentiality

AT&T believes 21st Century Fox is being overprotective of sensitive business information that the wireless carrier wants access to in its defense against the Department of Justice’s (DOJ) antitrust lawsuit. The company said in a court filing on Monday, December 20, that Fox’s request for additional protective measures—beyond those already granted by the court—would put AT&T at a disadvantage.

Fox, a third party to the legal battle over the AT&T-Time Warner merger, is wary of disclosing documents that include distribution deals, financial details and subscriber information on a distributor-by-distributor basis. It initially provided that information to the DOJ as part of the agency’s probe of the merger. In addition to limiting disclosure to outside counsel, Fox asked that it be permitted to withhold or redact “highly competitively sensitive material” that isn’t important for the case at hand. It also wants AT&T to provide a list of individuals that would have access to the information.

Finally, it wants to impose a two-year “cooling off” period, during which the individuals with access to the document can’t be involved in “any other matter that involves Fox (absent Fox’s consent).” AT&T responded to Fox’s motion Monday, stating the initial order “provides more than adequate safeguards,” and that the restrictions would put AT&T at a disadvantage given that the government has already seen all of the material.

Full Content: Law 360 and Hollywood Reporter

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