Representing radio and television broadcasters, newspaper publishers, cable programmers, Internet service providers, journalists, entertainment personalities, and others, WilmerHale has developed significant experience in handling the complex challenges faced by those in the media and entertainment industry. The firm’s experience covers a broad range of media and entertainment matters, involving FCC regulation, antitrust and competition issues, copyright levies and infringement, digital broadcast standards, First Amendment and other constitutional issues, the Freedom of Information Act and public right of access, libel, ownership disputes, breach of contract, fraud, and class action litigation.
- In Berlyn v. The Washington Post, we secured summary judgment and affirmance on appeal in a section 1 restraint of trade and section 2 monopolization suit accusing The Washington Post of attempting to monopolize the community newspaper market in the Maryland suburbs of Washington, DC.
- We were the primary antitrust counsel for the combination of Regal Cinemas, United Artists and Edwards movie theatre chains, which together form the nation’s largest theatre chain. We secured clearance from the US Antitrust Division with no divestitures, despite the Division having in the past challenged smaller acquisitions in the same industry.
- We represent a major entertainment company in five consolidated putative class actions in which plaintiffs alleged that denying admission to violent gang members at the client’s California facility constituted unlawful "racial profiling.” After more than a year and a half of intensive motions practice, discovery and mediated negotiations, the firm has achieved a favorable settlement for its client (subject to court approval).
- We represented Daniel Snyder, owner of the Washington Redskins, in defeating a challenge brought by an unsuccessful bidder contesting his failed attempt to buy the team from the estate of Jack Kent Cooke.
- We successfully represented major television networks and the network affiliate associations in a ten-day trial, in which the court ordered EchoStar, the country’s second largest satellite company, to halt its illegal service to over 500,000 subscribers. This victory is the latest in our string of victories for free over-the-air television broadcasters in their long-running battle to stop copyright infringement by satellite providers that misappropriate broadcast signals.