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Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc. v. Granite Broadcasting Corp.

Posted  September 22, 2017

The firm represented Nexstar Broadcasting, Inc., an owner and operator of multiple television stations across the U.S., in its antitrust suit against its competitor Granite Broadcasting Corporation in the United States District Court for the Northern District of Indiana. The litigation, filed on July 25, 2011, alleged that Granite violated federal and state antitrust laws by having unlawfully acquired control over the sale of television broadcast local spot advertising in the Fort Wayne, Indiana, Designated Market Area (DMA) by having acquired control of local spot advertising sales on five of the six national television broadcast network affiliations in the Fort Wayne DMA (NBC, ABC, FOX, MyNetworkTV, and The CW). Nexstar alleged that Granite’s exclusion of Nexstar’s Fort Wayne television station, WFFT-TV, from the “must-have” programming of these national networks had injured WFFT-TV’s and Nexstar’s ability to sell local spot advertising and had raised WFFT-TV’s costs of producing television programming.

The firm defeated Granite’s motion to dismiss Nexstar’s complaint, and also defeated Granite’s motion for reconsideration, or in the alternative for interlocutory appeal, of the court’s denial of Granite’s motion to dismiss, thereby allowing the case to proceed to discovery. On February 6, 2013, Nexstar entered into a new affiliation agreement with the Fox Broadcasting Company (FOX) for WFFT-TV in Fort Wayne, Indiana, beginning March 1, 2013. On February 6, 2013, the parties mutually agreed to settle the lawsuit and stipulated to dismissal of the lawsuit with prejudice.