Labaton Sucharow Files Antitrust Class Action Alleging Tribune Media and Sinclair Broadcasting Artificially Inflated Prices for TV Ads

Labaton Sucharow LLP and co-counsel DiCello Levitt & Casey have filed an antitrust class action lawsuit on behalf of The Bon-Ton Stores, Inc. alleging that Tribune Media Company, Sinclair Broadcasting Group, and other local station owners violated the Sherman Act by artificially inflating the prices for local spot television advertising.

The lawsuit alleges that Defendants conspired to reduce or eliminate competition by setting a “floor” for all TV spot pricing within a Designated Market Area (“DMA”). By setting such a floor, but then still negotiating with individual advertisers, stations maintained the façade of a competitive market when in reality they had fixed prices.

On July 26, 2018, The Wall Street Journal reported that DOJ was investigating Sinclair, Tribune, and other independent television station owners for the same alleged misconduct.

Defendants Sinclair Broadcasting and Tribune Media Company are two of the largest media companies in the United States, owning 192 and 42 local stations, respectively, that overlap in 14 DMAs. Plaintiff The Bon-Ton Stores is a Pennsylvania-based retailer that operated up to 270 stores across the United States and spent millions of dollars on local advertising during the class period, including for spots on Sinclair and Tribune-owned stations.

Click here to read the complaint. If you may have been affected by this unlawful price-fixing conspiracy, please contact:

Gregory Asciolla
T: (212) 907-0827
gasciolla@labaton.com

Karin E. Garvey
T: (212) 907-0844
kgarvey@labaton.com