Nexstar Broadcasting filed an antitrust lawsuit today against Granite Broadcasting, claiming the company is monopolizing local television sales in Fort Wayne, IN.
According to Nexstar, Granite will control the local advertising sales for the market stations affiliated with Fox, NBC, ABC, TheCW and MyNetworkTV. The lawsuit was apparently filed in reaction to Granite’s WISE, which is named in the suit, securing the Fox affiliation in Fort Wayne.
Fox was formerly affiliated with Nexstar-owned WFFT, but could not come to an agreement with Nexstar over retransmision fees. WFFT will become an independent station next month. Nexstar is asking that Granite be forced to give up at least one of its “big four” network affiliations.
“Granite’s actions to monopolize advertising sales in Fort Wayne will allow it to raise advertising rates to local businesses that are dependent on a fair and competitive television network marketplace,” Nexstar said in a statement. “The increased advertising rates will likely drive increases in the prices of goods and services for consumers as well.”