Report: Justice Department Contacts U.S. Pay-TV Operators in Pricing Probe

[Satellite TODAY 06-28-12] U.S. satellite pay-TV providers DirecTV and Dish Network have received requests from the U.S. Justice Department about pricing contracts with broadcasters, according to a Bloomberg report published June 27.

   The satellite companies’ share in the U.S. video market is smaller than its cable rivals at a regional level making their contract terms less of a concern for the Justice Department, the report said.
   The inquiry is part of a broader probe into whether or not pay-TV companies are using unfair competitive measures against Internet video rivals. The Justice Department sent civil investigative demands to DirecTV and Dish seeking information about “most-favored-nation” provisions that give pay-TV companies favorable pricing and terms.
   The department also is reviewing whether Comcast, Time Warner Cable and other cable providers used their dominance to pressure programmers into letting them buy content at lower prices than online providers.

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