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FuboTV files $1 billion lawsuit against Walt Disney, Fox Corp., Warner Bros. Discovery: Report

Allegations suggest that their high licensing rates, anti-competitive nature, and increased costs for streaming impact their operations.

According to The Drum, FuboTV, a sports-focused live-streaming platform, has filed a $1 billion lawsuit against media giants, namely, The Walt Disney Company, Fox Corp., Warner Bros. Discovery, and their affiliates, for alleged anti-competitive practices. The lawsuit alleges that integrated media organizations are systematically attempting to hinder FuboTV's sports-first streaming business by bundling platforms to provide unified products.

As a result, competition in the sports streaming space has been stifled, forcing Fubo to offer non-sports channels to remain competitive. The crux of Fubo's complaint is the upcoming launch of a sports-streaming joint venture by the defendants, which Fubo claims is the culmination of an extensive and illegal effort to undermine its service and cut out competition in the sports-focused streaming market.

The US Department of Justice is planning to launch an antitrust investigation into the joint venture. David Gandler, Fubo’s co-founder and CEO, said, “By joining together to exclusively reserve the rights to distribute a specialised 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.”

Fubo claims that media giants' high content licensing rates, which can exceed 30-50% of other distributors, are anti-competitive and that non-market penetration requirements increase costs for streaming platforms and customers, thereby affecting their operations.

It has also accused Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery of stealing its playbook and blocking its progress for years. Despite previous collaborations, the media organisations have challenged Fubo's business through pernicious practices.

Fubo claims billions of dollars in damages have been incurred due to these actions. The streaming platform is seeking an injunction against the joint venture or serious restrictions, such as economic parity of licensing terms and financial damages.

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