US: Viacom launches fraud accusations at Cablevision in TV bundling feud

In direct response to an antitrust lawsuit brought against it by broadcast giant Cablevision, Viacom is reportedly accusing its rival of fraud and demanding that it lose its rights to exclusively broadcast popular programming.

According to reports, Viacom has filed counterclaims against Cablevision accusing the company of fraudulent behavior when working out a contract between the two. According to Viacom, Cablevision had a “secret plan” during December 2012 contract negotiation.

After the contract was executed, Cablevision filed a lawsuit against Viacom accusing it of engaging in “per se” illegal tying, forcing Cablevision into licensing unpopular networks with the “must-have” ones. Cablevision’s suit also claimed that Viacom forced contractual clauses that imposed a “10-figure penalty” on Cablevision if it did not license those unpopular networks.

But Viacom argues that Cablevision was simply offered a discount on the most popular networks if it also licensed the unpopular ones.

Now, Viacom has filed counterclaims against its rival that question how the contract was negotiated, arguing that Cablevision never intended to fulfill its obligations under the contract. The 2012 negotiations amounted to misrepresentations, the company argues.

Viacom lost a motion last June to dismiss the lawsuit against the company.

Full content: Hollywood Reporter

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