Sky Angel - C-SPAN antitrust suit dismissed

A federal judge dismissed an antitrust lawsuit brought by the online video distributor Sky Angel against C-SPAN. But Sky Angel's attorney said the company plans to refile the matter before July 3.

"It's the best dismissal I ever got," Sky Angel's attorney Jonathan Rubin told FierceOnlineVideo.

Sky Angel sued C-SPAN last year, alleging it terminated their distribution agreement for no other reason than to prevent Sky Angel's Fave-TV service from competing with traditional cable operators.

U.S. District Judge Rudolph Contreras dismissed the complaint without prejudice and gave Sky Angel a month to amend it to include more evidence that a conspiracy existed to thwart Sky Angel's business prospects.

"As we said from the beginning, and the judge has obviously agreed, Sky Angel did not have any facts to back up its fanciful claims," Bruce Collins, C-SPAN's corporate vice president and general counsel, said in a statement.

But the dismissal leaves the door open for Sky Angel to return to court with more factual allegations, which is exactly what Rubin says he will do. "The judge already ruled the court has jurisdiction, that he's not going to send it to the FCC, that we have standing to sue in antitrust court and that we've adequately pleaded that we've suffered injury and there's harm to competition," Rubin said.

"The only thing missing is that we require two or more persons to be involved in this conspiracy," Rubin said. "If the judge wants more we'll give him more and there's ways of getting more."

For more:
- Broadcasting & Cable had this story
- Law360 had this story (sub. req.)

Related articles:
FCC program access rules expire
Sky Angel has FCC questioning definition of an MVPD

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