Fubo Files Antitrust Lawsuit Over New Sports Streaming Service

Published: February 26, 2024

Earlier in the month, it was announced that Disney, Fox, and Warner Bros. Discovery were planning on combining their sports branches into a combined shared sports streaming platform. The new platform would contain content from ABC Sports, Fox Sports, ESPN, TNT Sports, and TBS Sports. The service would be offered separately or could be combined with Disney+ or Max via a bundle.

In response to the combined sports streaming platform, Fubo TV has announced an antitrust lawsuit against the proposed service. The lawsuit not only seeks the prevent the partnership but also seeks billions in damages. The filing made by Fubo to the New York federal court included the following statement:

For decades, Defendants have leveraged their iron grip on sports content to extract billions of dollars in supra-competitive profits from distributors and consumers. Defendants earned many of these profits by ‘bundling’ their commercially critical sports content with other, less desirable content, forcing sports fans to purchase channels they did not want.”

Ever since 2015, Fubo Tv has become one of the largest sports streaming providers in North America, with partnerships with the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, MLS, CPL, and the Premier League. Originally a standard streaming service it became an all-sports service in 2017 and has since provided services in the United States, Canada, and Spain. Fubo sees this new multi-company partnership as massive competition to their business model. Even if they are unable to prevent the merger they still seek financial compensation. 

The filing would also go on to say:

Once they have combined forces, Defendants’ incentive to exclude Fubo and other rivals will only increase. If not stopped, Defendants’ JV will substantially increase Defendants’ incentives, both individually and collectively, to deny access and/or charge higher content prices to third-party distributors that depend on access to Defendants’ must-have sports channels, irrevocably reducing competition in the market and harming consumers.

Faced with the threat of disruptive competition from Fubo and other upstarts, Defendants have responded by locking arms, and locking others out, to steal Fubo’s core business idea, a sports-centric package of channels, while blocking Fubo from offering that same package.

The filing is still recent, so it isn’t currently known how far this case will go. We will try to provide updates on the suit.

What do you think? Is Fubo justified in their antitrust suit? Comment and let us know.

Source: Deadline

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