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Cox Loses Box Suit

An Oklahoma federal jury has decided that Cox violated antitrust laws when it tied premium cable service to set-top rentals, awarding $6.31 million in damages to the subs that sued, according to attorneys for the winners.

Cox confirmed that it had lost the court case. "Cox is disappointed in the verdict," said spokesman Todd Smith, "but gratified that the jury recognized most of the damages plaintiffs were seeking were unwarranted."

He also signaled the fight was not over. "We’ve filed a motion to overturn the verdict and believe we have solid grounds," he said.

According to attorneys for the plaintiffs, the jury deliberated for three days before returning the verdict against Cox. They said that under the law the award could be tripled to nearly $19 million, plus costs and attorneys’ fees.

He said the plaintiffs would also seek injunctive relief.

Joe R. Whatley, Jr., of Whatley Kallas, said: "The jury obviously gave all the evidence careful consideration.  We appreciate the time they devoted to this important case." Todd Schneider from the Schneider Wallace firm stated, added: “With this verdict the people of Oklahoma have scored a victory for fair  competition which leads to lower prices and more innovation, which benefits everyone.”

Contributing editor John Eggerton has been an editor and/or writer on media regulation, legislation and policy for over four decades, including covering the FCC, FTC, Congress, the major media trade associations, and the federal courts. In addition to Multichannel News and Broadcasting + Cable, his work has appeared in Radio World, TV Technology, TV Fax, This Week in Consumer Electronics, Variety and the Encyclopedia Britannica.