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Netflix Loses Appeal, Still Can't Poach Talent From Disney-Fox

Moxie on Netflix
(Image credit: Netflix)

A California appeals court upheld an injunction that prevents Netflix from poaching executives from Disney's Fox-branded companies. 

Fox sued Netflix in 2016 alleging that the subscription streaming company improperly lured away production executive Tara Flynn and marketing executive Marcos Waltenberg. 

Netflix countersued, alleging that the studio's contracts were too long under California law. But in 2019, a Los Angeles Superior Court judge ruled in favor of Fox and issued an injunction against Netflix, preventing the streaming company from trying to lure away other Fox executives under contract. 

Netflix, which is battling similar contractual interference lawsuits from ViacomCBS and Activision Blizzard, appealed the decision to California's 2nd Appellate District Court. But a three-judge panel affirmed the lower court's decision. 

“Here, the undisputed evidence of Netflix’s conduct showed an unlawful practice, namely, intentional interference with the fixed-term agreements of both Waltenberg and Flynn, as well as continuing interference with the fixed-term agreements of more than a dozen other Fox employees,” the panel concluded. 

“The Court’s ruling definitively ends years of unlawful poaching by Netflix," said Daniel Petrocelli, attorney for Fox. "The decision not only affirms the trial court’s condemnation of Netflix’s conduct, but also ensures that the rights and choices of employees will remain protected.”