The Law Office of Lynnette Ariathurai A Professional Corporation

Al Jazeera sues AT&T in business contract dispute

Adhering to agreements and contracts is the basis of just about all business regardless of which industry a company operates within. Companies make many business decisions based upon the assumptions that legal contracts will be honored by the other parties in California or in any other state. Failure to do so could result in losses for one of the parties to a contract and could result in a business contract dispute.

This is what happened in a recent lawsuit filed by media company Al Jazeera against its partner cable service provider AT&T. The cable service provider refused to air the plaintiff's new U.S. news channel Al Jazeera America. The newly created news channel began broadcasting in mid-August following its conversion from Current TV which Al Jazeera had recently purchased.

AT&T claimed that it had refused to carry Al Jazeera America due to a contract dispute. Al Jazeera stated that this left the company no other option except to file a breach of contract lawsuit against AT&T. The plaintiff company argues that the defendant's refusal to broadcast the new channel violated an affiliation agreement between the two parties.

The defendant's refusal to broadcast the new channel caused the plaintiff media company to lose access to approximately 43 million homes, many of which were in California. The two parties will now have to argue against each other in court. The party that presents the strongest legal argument will prevail in the business contract dispute. A strong understanding of contract law and business laws will be important for both sides to prevail in court.

Source: Inside Counsel, Al Jazeera sues AT&T over refusal to carry new cable-news channel, Zach Warren, Aug. 23, 2013

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