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Judge Sets Deadline for Amending Discrimination Suit - Broadcasting & Cable

Judge Sets Deadline for Amending Discrimination Suit

Gives plaintiffs until Sept. 21
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U.S. District Judge Terry Hatter has set the date for plaintiffs to amend their complaint in the $20 billion racial discrimination suit against Comcast and Time Warner Cable.

In a one-line order, the judge said: "Counsel are hereby notified that this case is reopened and the Plaintiff will be given until September 21, 2015 in which to file an amended complaint," according to a copy supplied by Entertainment Studios.

Hatter earlier this month granted motions to dismiss the suit, but without prejudice, which meant those plaintiffs—Entertainment Studios Networks and the National Association of African-American Owned Media—could amend and refile.

The suit alleged that Comcast and other defendants refused to do business with 100% African American-owned businesses.

Entertainment Studios trumpeted the order as new life. “I am confident we will prevail. We will continue to vigorously pursue Comcast and Time Warner Cable, who spend approximately $25 billion annually licensing cable networks with less than $3 million going to 100 percent African-American owned media,” said Mark DeVitre, president of NAAAOM.

A Comcast spokesperson pointed out it was standard procedure in a suit dismissed without prejudice. "[A]ll the judge is letting them do (which is standard) is to re-file within 20 days. They have to file something that would overcome all the substantial issues he laid out in his finding, but they can refile and try to do that."

The suit was filed in February 2014 as Comcast was trying to get its merger with TWC through the FCC and Justice—it did not.

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