Disney was sued by several YouTiube TV users alleging that its dominance of services such as ESPN unfairly raise prices
Taking control of Disney+, ESPN+ and Hulu completely, the company walt disney You have a wide variety of content under your control. Between sports, live programming, both animated and live-action series and movies, many other services have had to make special deals with the company to be able to broadcast these productions as well.
But that seems to be hurting the industry and the consumer in general. And for this reason, the users of YouTube TV, Heather Biddle Of California, Jeffrey Kaplan from arizona, Zachary Roberts from Indiana and Joel Wilsonn Kentucky teamed up to sue Disney arguing that the monopoly it has over certain content causes a significant price rise.
A problem for the consumer?
YouTube TV already became the largest Pay Per View Streaming Service, as it has more than 5 million subscribers and includes more than 100 live streaming channels. However, since last year it has had problems with channels like ESPN, FX and ABC due to Disney exclusivity.
In fact, the YouTube service had to lower the cost in 15 dollars last year because it couldn’t keep streaming Disney channels on its platform. But that was fixed after they reached an agreement last December.
However, in the new lawsuit, the users allege that “The price of the pay-per-view market and YouTube TV has more than doubled. This is specifically due to the price increases that Disney imposes on services such as Hulu and ESPN and has specifically sought competitor by competitor to implement new negotiations.
How much have prices increased?
Currently, the service YouTube TV cost $64 per month (the approximate equivalent of $1,224 pesos), but if people want to also hire services like Hulu+, the price reaches 69 dollars (1,337 pesos). By comparison, in 2018 the full service with Hulu and 100 channels cost 40 dollars. And according to the lawsuit filed by these users, Disney is responsible for the excessive rise in prices in these items, since it generates a “specific price floor” to which the entire market has to abide, and “By raising its own prices, it increases the market price in general.”
Disney has control of at least 200 entertainment companies of various fields, which span between fiction, animation, news, sports, entertainment parks and music. In 2019, Disney took 49% of the total revenue from the Hollywood box office for the entire year, and since he closed the purchase of Fox in 2017, the mouse company represents the 27% of the entire film industry in the United States.
Undoubtedly, Disney has a very powerful weight in terms of content, which is why it has also positioned itself as a great monolith in streaming. This year, not only has it already surpassed Netflix in terms of subscribers On reaching 235 million combining the services of Disney +, Hulu and ESPN (not counting subscriptions that have international services such as Star+ or Hotstar), so it is very credible that he also seeks to dominate market prices, since any changes he makes in his company will have strong repercussions in the general market.
At least in Mexico antitrust and economic competition law, has placed certain limits on the mouse company, so despite the fact that Disney’s purchase of Fox was an international phenomenon, in Mexico they could not absorb Fox Sports, because Disney already had a majority stake in the sports business by having ESPN in its catalog.
However, andThis is the first time that Disney has faced a legal problem based on monopolistic activities. in the United States, so it will be interesting to see if the congress of that country decides to review his case, as they are doing now with Ticketmaster.