Joined Nov 11, 2007
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$VIA Handed a Lawsuit by $CVC

“(Reuters) – Viacom Inc Chief Executive Philippe Dauman criticized Cablevision Corp on Monday for filing an “ill-advised and frivolous” antitrust lawsuit against Viacom that he said would just turn into a waste of legal fees.

Dauman’s remarks, his first public response to the lawsuit, come a week after Cablevision accused Viacom Inc of illegally forcing it to pay for more than a dozen low-rated cable networks in order to get access to Viacom’s most popular channels, including Nickelodeon, MTV and Comedy Central.

“The lawsuit that Cablevision filed is ill-advised and frivolous,” Dauman said, speaking at a Deutsche Bank investor conference in Florida.

“The bottom line is that the lawyers will get rich on this,” adding that Cablevision’s money would be better spent providing its subscribers with better customer service.

A Cablevision spokesman said on Monday that the “tactics employed by Viacom are illegal, anti-consumer, and wrong, and force Cablevision’s customers to take and pay for more than a dozen channels they don’t want in order to receive the Viacom channels they want.”

Last Thursday, Cablevision CEO James Dolan said that Viacom abused its market power, violated federal antitrust laws and “needs to be stopped.”

The case represents the latest flare-up in the contentious relationships between distributors and program makers….”

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