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Brantley v. NBC Universal, Inc.

United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
675 F.3d 1192 (2012)


Facts

In the market for television programming, content programmers such as NBC Universal, Inc. (NBC) (defendant) sell programs and channels in packages to cable distributors, who then sell combinations of channel packages to consumers. Representing a class of disgruntled consumers, Rob Brantley (defendant) brought a suit against NBC and other programmers, alleging a violation of § 1 of the Sherman Act. In the complaint, Brantley sought to compel both programmers and distributors to sell television channels independently so that consumers would not be forced to buy packages that included unwanted channels. Brantley alleged that programmers owned both high-demand and low-demand channels and that the industry practice of packaging the two types of channels together was an exploitation of the programmers’ market power. The district court dismissed Brantley’s complaint due to Brantley’s failure to show that the claimed injuries to consumers were the result of anticompetitive practices. Brantley appealed the decision.

Rule of Law

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Issue

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Holding and Reasoning (Ikuta, J.)

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  • A “yes” or “no” answer to the question framed in the issue section;
  • A summary of the majority or plurality opinion, using the CREAC method; and
  • The procedural disposition (e.g. reversed and remanded, affirmed, etc.).

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