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Disney Hit With Antitrust Suit Claiming Hulu & ESPN Deals “Inflate Prices” Of Live Streaming TV

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deadline.com

A group of YouTube TV subscribers has filed an antitrust lawsuit against Disney, claiming that the company’s business deals with competitors have inflated the amount consumers pay for streaming live TV services.

The plaintiffs from four states claim that, because Disney requires streamers including YouTube TV to include ESPN in base packages, they are paying extra more for their subscriptions than they should.

The 82-page class-action complaint filed this week in U.S. District Court in San Francisco (read it here) alleges that Disney’s control of both ESPN and Hulu has allowed the conglomerate to “inflate prices marketwise by raising the prices of its own products” and also “set a price floor.” According to the suit: “Together, these carriage agreement mandates — which now cover all of Disney’s leading competitors in the SLPTV Market — allow Disney to use ESPN and Hulu to set a price floor in the SLPTV Market and to inflate prices marketwide by raising the prices of its own products.

And this is exactly what Disney has done in the past three years, since it took operational control of Hulu. “Since Disney acquired operational control over Hulu in May 2019,” the complaint adds, “prices across the SLPTV Market, including for YouTube TV, have doubled.

Read more on deadline.com
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