Brantley v. Nbc Universal, Inc.

675 F.3d 1192 (9th Cir. 2012)


Programmers such as Ds own television programs and television channels and sell them wholesale to distributors. Distributors then sell the programming channels to consumers. Ds have two categories of programming channels: 'must-have' channels with high demand and a large number of viewers, and a group of less desirable, low-demand channels with low viewership. Ps claim that Ds have enormous marketing power for the must-have channels and to exploit this, they require the distributors to purchase packages of products from Ds. The distributors are prohibited from offering the separate products and are required to sell the bundled packages. Ps allege that these business practices impair competition among distributors for consumer business, and is a violation of Section 1 of the Sherman Act. Ps seek monetary damages and an injunction to compel Ds and distributors to sell television channels independently. Ds' motioned to dismiss the complaint with prejudice because Ps failed to allege any cognizable injury to competition.  The court dismissed the complaint because Ps failed to show the injuries incurred by Ps were from anticompetitive practices. Ps appealed.