Fox News Agrees to Pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 Million at Last Minute to Avoid Trial

Chris Menahan
Apr. 18, 2023

Fox Corp agreed to pay Dominion Voting Systems over $787 million on Tuesday to settle a defamation lawsuit over claims Dominion's voting machines fixed the 2020 presidential election.

The case reportedly marks the largest media settlement in history.

From CNBC, "Fox to pay Dominion Voting Systems $787.5 million to settle election defamation lawsuit":
The settlement, which came after a 12-member jury had been seated in the case in Delaware Superior Court, averted a weekslong trial that could have seen top Fox TV hosts and network boss Rupert Murdoch publicly testify.

The deal, which will cost Fox nearly half of the $1.6 billion that Dominion originally demanded, was struck as opening arguments were delayed for hours amid speculation that the parties were discussing a resolution of the case.

Dominion CEO John Poulos told reporters outside court that the settlement was "historic."

"Fox has admitted to telling lies about Dominion that caused enormous damage to my company, our employees and the customers that we serve," Poulus said.

"Nothing can ever make up for that. Throughout this process we have sought accountability and believed the evidence brought to light through this case underscored the consequences of spreading lies. Truthful reporting in the media is essential to our democracy," he said.

[...] Fox's on-air talent won't have to acknowledge or say anything regarding the settlement on air, according to people familiar with the matter.

[...] Fox faces a similar defamation lawsuit by another voting machine company, Smartmatic, over the company’s work during the 2020 election.

Smartmatic's attorney J. Erik Connolly, in a statement, said, "Dominion's litigation exposed some of the misconduct and damage caused by Fox's disinformation campaign."

"Smartmatic will expose the rest," Connolly said. "Smartmatic remains committed to clearing its name, recouping the significant damage done to the company, and holding Fox accountable for undermining democracy."

Dominion also has pending defamation lawsuits related to false claims about the 2020 election against Newsmax Media, One America News Network, Overstock founder Patrick Byrne, My Pillow CEO Mike Lindell, former Trump lawyer Rudy Giuliani, attorney Sidney Powell and others.
"The deal is a significant amount of money even for a company the size of Fox," the AP reports. "It represents about one-quarter of the $2.96 billion the company reported earning last year before interest, taxes, depreciation and amortization -- a figure often used to approximate a company's cash flow."

"By its own estimation, Dominion valued the entire company at somewhere between $30 and $80 million," Elie Honig, former assistant US attorney for the Southern District of New York, told CNN on Tuesday. "This settlement is 10 times the value of Dominion as an entire company."

Fox's settlement follows the recent Alex Jones Sandy Hook trial in which Jones was comically ordered to pay over $1.4 billion in damages for calling the shooting a "hoax."

The price of free speech in the New America™ is going up with every passing year.

[Header image of Rupert Murdoch by the World Economic Forum, CC BY-NC-SA 2.0]

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