Monday, June 25, 2012

DirecTV, Dish are under investigation by the Justice Department

Bloomberg is reporting that DirecTV and Dish have both received civil investigative demands, similar to subpoenas, from the Justice Department requesting information on both companies' pricing contracts with cable networks. What makes this story relevant to eBooks is that two sources have told Bloomberg that the DOJ is seeking information about "Most Favored Nation" (MFN) clauses in their contracts with content providers, the same clauses that the DOJ is seeking to eliminate in its price-fixing case against Apple, Macmillan and Penguin. In the pay-TV case, the DOJ is trying to find out whether cable, satellite and IPTV video services are using MFN clauses to prevent Internet video distributors and smaller startups from getting rights to distribute cable networks.
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