WHITE PLAINS, N.Y., June 3 /PRNewswire/ -- A federal antitrust complaint was filed against nine firms including Dow Jones & Co., The New York Times, CNBC, CNN, MSNBC and others, for engaging in unlawful per se horizontal market division, customer allocation, and price fixing agreements with competitors in the market for bank rate websites throughout the United States.
The complaint filed by BanxCorp in the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey, accuses the firms of entering into a conspiracy in restraint of trade and forming a cartel with their competitor Bankrate.com together with approximately a hundred competing bank rate website operators including some of the largest media conglomerates in the United States.
The complaint estimates that the damages caused by the price-fixing cartel may exceed five hundred million dollars, to be trebled under the antitrust statute. The harm to the competitive marketplace and consumers is alleged to be of equal or greater magnitude.
The defendants named in the complaint are Dow Jones & Company Inc. and Fox News Network LLC - both subsidiaries of the News Corp. (NYSE: NWS); The New York Times Company (NYSE: NYT); CNBC Inc. - a unit of General Electric's (NYSE: GE) NBC Universal; Cable News Network Inc. - a unit of Time Warner Inc. (NYSE: TWX); MSNBC Interactive News LLC - a joint venture of Microsoft Corp. (Nasdaq: MSFT) and NBC Universal; AOL Inc. (NYSE: AOL); LendingTree LLC - a subsidiary of Tree.com Inc. (Nasdaq: TREE); and Move, Inc. (Nasdaq: MOVE).
BanxCorp, known for its competing independent bank rate website BanxQuote.com, indicated that other members of the cartel may also be joined.
The case is USDC-DNJ 2:10-cv-02467-SDW-MCA.
To download the complaint, go to http://banx.com/BanxCorp_v_LendingTree_et_al.pdf (12 mb)